The Cleveland Browns have reportedly fixed the gaping hole at right tackle after agreeing to a deal with free agent Jack Conklin.
The deal is reportedly for three years and $42 million, with $30 million of that guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Jack Conklin agreed to a 3-year deal with the Browns for $42M with $30M fully guarantee, per @RosenhausSports. He earns $20mil in the first year. Wanted to keep it short due to the projected increases in the salary cap. Conklin will only be 28 when this deal expires.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
Conklin was a first-round selection by the Tennessee Titans in the 2016 NFL Draft. He started all 16 games three times in his four seasons with the Titans and earned a NFL First Team All-Pro selection as a rookie.
Conklin finished last season as PFF’s 12th-best offensive tackle and fifth-best in the run game, which should make running back Nick Chubb happy. He is not very good as a pass blocker, which should not please quarterback Baker Mayfield, but Conklin can mostly hold his own if he receives help.
There is also absolutely no question that Conklin is an improvement over right tackle Chris Hubbard. If general manager Andrew Berry can now add a left tackle with the No. 10 overall selection in the upcoming NFL Draft, the two newcomers will join left guard Joel Bitonio and center J.C. Tretter to once again give the Browns an actual NFL-caliber offensive line.
Conklin joins tight end Austin Hooper, who reportedly agreed to a four-year contract earlier on Monday, as the two big signings for the Browns on the first day that teams were allowed to work out deals with free agents.
Both deals are reportedly front loaded as well, which will give Berry some flexibility as he works his way in the coming years through various contract extensions for players like Mayfield and defensive end Myles Garrett.
The signings of Conklin and Hooper, who are both 25, give the Browns a young nucleus on offense with Tretter, age 29; Bitonio age 28; wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, both 27; running back Kareem Hunt, Chubb and Mayfield, all 24; and tight end David Njoku, age 23.