Browns sign seventh-round pick DL Pittman

CLEVELAND (AP) -The Cleveland Browns signed rookie defensive lineman Chase Pittman to a four-year contract Wednesday, making him the first of the club's draft picks to agree to a deal.

Pittman, who played his final two seasons at LSU, was selected in the seventh round with the 213th overall pick by the Browns. The 6-foot-5, 273-pounder made 24 starts for the Tigers after transferring from Texas. He finished with 61 tackles - 14.5 for loss - and 8 1/2 sacks.

Pittman started 13 games last season at right end.

The Browns, who took seven players in April's draft, are hoping to avoid a contract holdout with offensive tackle Joe Thomas (No. 3 overall) and quarterback Brady Quinn (No. 22) before training camp begins next week. However, top picks have been slow to sign this summer, making a holdout possible.

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