NFL Free Agency: Cleveland Browns Find Missing Piece of Their Line

Samuel IngroAnalyst IMarch 8, 2010

DENVER - OCTOBER 12:  Offensive tackle Tony Pashos #79 of the Jacksonville Jaguars blocks the rush defensive end Tim Crowder #96 of the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 12, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Jaguars defeated the Broncos 24-17.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Sunday saw the first free agent acquisition during the Mike Holmgren era in Cleveland, as the Browns inked offensive lineman Tony Pashos. At 29 years of age, this 6'6", 325 pound veteran is a welcome addition to the Browns' depleted depth chart.

"We like the fact that Tony has started a lot of games in this league, and has been a part of some productive offenses with Baltimore and Jacksonville. Although he's started at right tackle, he has the versatility to play inside as well, and he will come in and compete at both tackle and guard with us," said Cleveland GM Tom Heckert.

The versatility option is one that Eric Mangini loves; every training camp, he makes his linemen attempt every position, just in case a player goes down during the season. Pashos is already versed in multiple spots, so he should be ready to start wherever he is needed from day one.

For Browns fans, and most notably Brady Quinn fans, this signing should be celebrated and welcomed, as it essentially means John St. Clair will have a permanent meeting with the bench.

Pashos is normally quite durable, only missing one out of a possible 48 starts with the Baltimore Ravens. However, the former San Francisco 49ers lineman missed 10 games last season on Injured Reserve with a broken left shoulder blade. The injury is not expected to be an issue, as evidenced by the front office's willingness to sign Tony to a three year deal.

In Cleveland, durability is not something fans have seen much of, with 13 players ending the year on the I.R. list, so his physical and mental toughness should quickly make him popular on the shores of Lake Erie.

Pashos was signed to a three year, $10 million dollar contract, and while it remains to be seen if the line will be addressed further in the 2010 draft, as of now, the line sits Joe Thomas, Eric Steinbach, Alex Mack, Floyd Womack, and Tony Pashos.

It's almost guaranteed any talk of a first round lineman is out of the question now; the rest of the draft is full of late round talent. Iowa's Kyle Calloway, Alabama's Mike Johnson, California's Mike Tepper, and Stanford's Chris Marinelli are all intriguing late round prospects due to injuries or simply being overshadowed by higher profile players.

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