Browns sign guard Bitonio to multiyear contract extension

Bitonio's signing comes as the Browns are poised to add some key pieces in free agency.

Joel Bitonio - Cleveland Browns
FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2016, file photo, Cleveland Browns' Joel Bitonio looks to block against the New England Patriots during the second half of an NFL football game, in Cleveland. Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio has signed a multi-year contract extension. Bitonio has developed into one of the NFL’s best young interior lineman since Cleveland drafted him in 2014 and the Browns wanted to secure a player with Pro Bowl potential. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) – Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio has signed a multiyear contract extension.

Bitonio has developed into one of the NFL’s best young interior lineman since Cleveland drafted him in 2014 and the Browns wanted to secure a player with Pro Bowl potential.

The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder has been limited to just 15 games over the past two seasons because of injuries. He sustained a serious right foot injury last season, underwent surgery and is expected to be ready for the start of the 2017 season.

Bitonio was injured on Oct. 9 against New England and was eventually placed on injured reserve. His loss had a dramatic effect on Cleveland’s offense.

Bitonio’s signing comes as the Browns are poised to add some key pieces in free agency. The team is $102 million under the salary cap and expected to sign several players when the free agency signing period officially opens at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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