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Browns agree to 5-year deal with Steelers OT Chris Hubbard

CLEVELAND — The Browns didn’t sit on their hands while they waited for left tackle Joe Thomas to make a decision on retirement.

The Browns agreed to a five-year, $37.5 million deal with Steelers tackle Chris Hubbard, with $18 million guaranteed, a league source confirmed to The Chronicle-Telegram on Tuesday.

Broncos tackle Donald Stephenson agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal, according to reports.

No contracts can be signed until the league year starts Wednesday at 4 p.m.

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Hubbard was undrafted out of Alabama-Birmingham and has started 14 games in four seasons with the Steelers, all in the last two years. He has played all five line positions, with his most experience in Pittsburgh coming at right tackle.

He’s 6-foot-4, 286 pounds and will turn 27 next month.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the Browns plan to play Hubbard at right tackle or try him on the left side, assuming Thomas retires. He would be reunited with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who came over from Pittsburgh following the season and was there for Hubbard’s entire tenure.

Thomas has made 10 Pro Bowls in 11 years and is considered a future Hall of Famer. He suffered a season-ending torn left triceps Oct. 22, and his future has been in doubt since.

Shon Coleman, a third-round pick in 2016, was the Browns starter at right tackle in 2017 but said he’s more comfortable on the left side and could get the chance to slide over.

Thomas has been waffling between retiring and returning for another season and is expected to make a decision at any time. As of Tuesday morning he hadn’t informed the team of his plans.

 

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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