Browns Rumors: Cleveland Targeting Patriots' Nate Solder to Replace Joe Thomas

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 23:  Nate Solder #77 of the New England Patriots in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 23, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

After last week's trade frenzy, the Cleveland Browns are looking to make some noise on the free-agent market.

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reported Tuesday that Cleveland is "making a big run" at Nate Solder to replace Joe Thomas at left tackle. As Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com noted, Thomas, 33, has yet to inform the Browns if he will play in 2018 or retire.

Solder has played his entire seven-year career with the New England Patriots after being drafted by the team in the first round of the 2011 draft.

Last week, Cleveland was involved in a number of trades. The team agreed to acquire receiver Jarvis Landry from the Dolphins, quarterback Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills and defensive back Damarious Randall from the Green Bay Packers

Even after that flurry, the Browns still have the second-most cap space in the NFL at $77.8 million, per Spotrac. That gives Cleveland more than enough to compete in a bidding war with any team for a free agent.

It was just last year that Cleveland made Kevin Zeitler the highest-paid guard in NFL history. With money at its disposal, the organization could be prepared to back up the trucks for Solder.

Cleveland is in a tough spot with Thomas, a future Hall of Famer, contemplating retirement. He has spent his entire 11-year career with the team that drafted him third overall in 2007, never missing a snap until a triceps injury limited him to just seven games last season.

The Browns need a decision from Thomas as soon as possible or they could miss out on one of the top linemen on the market.

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