NFL

Browns lock up OG John Greco with five-year contract extension

7/24/13 in NFL   |   Mia781   |   953 respect

John Gerco had a long-term plan in mind to impress the Cleveland Browns in training camp in order to earn a new contract with the team. But the Cleveland Browns sped up things and decided to eight-year offensive guard a contract extension even before training camp opens this week.
 
"It caught me off guard a little bit. I'm thrilled and a bit relieved,” Greco said. “I'm happy the Browns have value in me."
 
The Cleveland Brown locked Greco through the 2017 season, after he signed on a five-year contract Tuesday. Financial terms of the contract were not revealed by the team.
 
The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder was forced into the starting lineup after Jason Pinkston contracted blood clots in his lungs last season. Greco made 10 starts at left guard and immediately bolstered one of Cleveland Browns’ strongest units. He did not miss a single offensive snap over his first nine starts along the offensive line. Greco was a part of the Cleveland Browns offensive line that helped running back Trent Richardson rush for a franchise rookie record 950 yards, and provided sound protection for rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, who passed for 3,385 yards – another rookie record – last season.
 
Greco is the first Cleveland Browns veteran who was previously entering the 2013 season on an expiring contract but had his stay extended this offseason under the new Browns’ regime.
 
"One of our goals, is whenever possible to develop and keep our own players,” said Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner. “We're glad in this case that it worked out, and was mutually beneficial."

Even though Greco has a new contract in hand, hat doesn’t guarantee a starting job for him by first-year Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski. Greco still proved that he’s capable of starting up front after a solid season in 2012 and should be at least considered amongst the top candidates for the job. During spring practices Greco shared snaps at eth guard spot with Pinkston and Shaun Lauvao – who started all games at right guard last season. But Greco did seem to get more snaps with the first-team offense in comparison to his teammates.
Greco said while landing the starting job “is huge” he won’t take anything for guaranted and will continue to work hard to prove his worth to the Cleveland Browns.

"John is a solid, all-around teammate, on and off the field. He was given an opportunity to play last year and really showed well,” Chudzinski said. ”He's respected in the locker room for his approach, consistency and team-first attitude."
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