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Browns Trade Rumors: Kevin Zeitler's Name 'Thrown Around' Ahead of Free Agency

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2019

Cleveland Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (70) sets to block against the Baltimore Ravens defense during an NFL game, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Cleveland. The Browns won 12-9 in overtime. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

With the new league year approaching, Cleveland Browns guard Kevin Zeitler's name is being "thrown around" as the team looks to clear cap space, according to NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala.

Zeitler signed a five-year, $60 million contract with Cleveland back in March 2017, a deal that made him the highest-paid guard in the league.

The 28-year-old has three years and $32 million in base salary remaining on his contract, per Spotrac. He carries a cap hit of $12.4 million in 2019.

Zeitler has not missed a game since signing with Cleveland. In fact, he has appeared in all 16 regular-season games in five of his seven seasons as a pro, missing a total of eight games during that span.

As Pro Football Focus' Connor Price noted in December, Zeitler played a big role in keeping rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield clean last year. The veteran was the top-ranked guard entering Week 17 with a pressure percentage of 1.7 percent.

While Zeitler has remained productive, he could find himself leaving town as the team looks for cheaper options. The Browns could turn to 2018 second-round pick Austin Corbett if Zeitler is moved.

Then again, Zeitler could wind up being part of a blockbuster deal, as NFL insider Benjamin Allbright notes:

Benjamin Allbright @AllbrightNFL

Since others wont, I will. Basically the rumor that's out there, with many different variations is a Kevin Zeitler and draft picks plus another player for Odell Beckam. I cannot stress enough that that is a rumor, and not currently coming from any known credible source

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Cleveland's $80-plus million in cap space ranks third in the league. The Browns released veteran linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. on Wednesday.