That ranking was accomplished almost completely based off the work of guards Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler, and center JC Tretter.
Now, as the Browns start to work their way through training camp, Zeitler is with the New York Giants, traded for defensive end Olivier Vernon. And in a few months it could be Tretter who is spending training camp with another team as he is entering the final year of the contract he signed as a free agent in 2017.
But if it was up to Tretter, he would be in orange and brown for at least a few more years as the five-year veteran is open to signing a new deal with the Browns, as he told Scott Petrak of Browns Zone:
“I would love to stay here and would love to get something done. But I’m just going to focus on this year and playing well and helping the team win. That’s really the main goal. I love it here. Love the staff here. Love the guys here. It’s been a really good fit going into three years now. It’s been awesome. I would love to continue playing here.”
Tretter certainly seems like the kind of player that the Browns would want to keep, especially given head coach Freddie Kitchens belief that the more good players a team has, the better they will be on the field.
There is little doubt that Tretter falls into that category. He has yet to miss a game in his two years with the Browns, is only 28 years old, and was one of the best offensive lineman last season in pure pass sets, according to Pro Football Focus:
Tying Ducasse’s 81.8 grade in pure pass sets was Cleveland’s center, J.C. Tretter. He allowed only eight pressures on 189 snaps for a 4.2% pressure rate in pure passing situations last season. Overall, Tretter put together a career year in terms of pass protection and allowed just 14 total pressures on 694 pass-blocking snaps at center. This was his fourth straight season with an 80.0-plus pass blocking grade, and his second straight season with over 1,000 total snaps played.
General manager John Dorsey created a hole at right guard with the trade of Zeitler, but sometimes you have to give up something to get something.
There is little reason to create another hole along the offensive line by letting a talented player who wants to remain with the team walk out the door just as the Browns are on the cusp of taking over the NFL.