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Browns position outlook: Offensive tackle

1/22/2014

2014 Free agents: None.

The good: There are pieces here. Joe Thomas is as good and dependable a left tackles as there is in the league. Mitchell Schwartz was voted the best right tackle in the division by the ESPN.com AFC North beat writers. That’s a start. Thomas has played every down since he was the third player taken in the 2007 draft. Schwartz was a second-round pick in 2012. The two are not the most powerful players, but they move well and can pass-protect.

The bad: Schwartz had a slow start to 2013, and even though he finished the second half better than the first, there are questions whether this front office is committed to him. Bottom line: A team with a bunch of needs really can’t afford to create its own at such an important position.

The money: Thomas has a hefty salary cap figure of $12.3 million for 2014, but given the Browns figure to have about $40 million in salary cap space that is not a burdensome number to carry. There figure to be no real moves at tackle based on money.

Draft priority: Not high, but depth is always welcome on the offensive line.