Due to a rash of injuries, the Cleveland Browns offensive line struggled mightily in 2016. Head coach Hue Jackson knew the offensive line had to be a priority during the off season.

Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown and his staff addressed it. The front office added two top free agents. In addition, they locked up one of their own for a long time on day one of free agency.

When the Browns take the field this fall, they will have a one of the highest paid offensive lines. Cleveland locked up free agent right guard Kevin Zeitler for five years. Center J.C. Tretter signed a three-year deal. Left guard Joel Bitonio agreed to a five-year contract extension.

“Seeing all of those building blocks and putting and O line together that will hopefully be together for quite a few years,” Zeitler said. “It is very exciting. Like I said, Hue loves to run the ball. I will be excited to see what we can all do together.”

“It will be great,” Tretter said. “That is what you have here now. Whenever you have guys who are as good as it gets in the league right now, you have the opportunity to really go out there and succeed. I think everybody really raises their level of play as you increase the talent in the room. I think people will also begin to play better around because they will be playing up to the expectation of other players.”

The one concern is at right tackle. Cameron Erving saw time in last year’s finale. Shon Coleman is also an option currently on the roster.

Both Zeitler and Tretter are looking forward to teaming up with Joe Thomas. In addition, they want to make the Browns offensive line one of the top lines in the league.

“I am going to do whatever it is that I have to do to make sure that my job gets done,” Zeitler said. “I am not going to waste any of my energy on any extra nonsense.”

“You start from my position, being on the offensive line, you look at the guys they have in that room already with Joe and Joel, “Tretter said. “When you can surround yourself with great players, you have to look at that opportunity. Obviously, you add Kevin into that and you have the potential to be a truly great line and really mesh together and build something special. ”

Scott Piker is the lead staff writer for the Cleveland Browns in addition to the Ohio State Buckeyes at Endzone Score. So follow him on Twitter @ScottPikerSport.

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