The Browns appear set at left tackle.
At least for 2019.
Greg Robinson re-signed with the Browns on a one-year deal Monday. Terms weren’t immediately known, but he certainly received a sizable raise over the one-year, $790,000 contract he played on last year.
Robinson’s career will continue in Cleveland. He hopes the revival will, too.
Robinson, 26, was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent when the league year begins March 13 but chose to remain in Cleveland for a second season. He likely hopes to use 2019 to increase his value even further for a long-term extension with the Browns or potential run at free agency.
Robinson began to resurrect his career over the second half of last season. He was the No. 2 pick of the Rams in 2014 but was traded to the Lions in 2017 and didn’t last. He was available as a free agent when the Browns signed him June 19 after minicamp.
Robinson opened last year on the bench behind undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison but took over in Week 9 after Gregg Williams became interim coach and Freddie Kitchens the coordinator.
Robinson (6-foot-5, 330 pounds) played well for the final eight games, earning consistent praise from quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Browns allowed a league-low five sacks during his time, down from 33 in the first half of the season.
Left guard Joel Bitonio liked what he saw from Robinson down the stretch.
“This eight-game sample was pretty impressive for him,” Bitonio said the day after the season finale. “He improved throughout the time. He showed why he was the second overall pick. He is athletic. He is strong. He has more tools than any of the other O-linemen that we have on this team — him and Des both, actually.
“If he can continue to push himself and if he does re-sign here, which I hope they do, and he just still has that mentality of trying to improve himself, I think he will be fine.”
Robinson started 42 games in three years with the Rams but was demoted then traded to the Lions for a sixth-round draft pick. He started six games with the Lions before an ankle injury sent him to injured reserve.
Robinson admitted during the season the expectations that come with being such a high pick can get “overwhelming at times.” He cited inconsistent play, injuries and a lack of talent around him as issues early in his career but said he learned from the struggles.
“You have to come in and stay focused each day, take advantage of each day you have in the building because any day could be your last,” he said.
Keeping Robinson removes left tackle as a pressing need for the offseason and should give Harrison more time to develop. The move lessens the chance of the Browns drafting a left tackle at No. 17, especially with needs on defense, but it might not eliminate the possibility.
“Man, to me, if Dillard’s there, who I think is the premier pass-protecting left tackle, that would be hard to pass up at that point in time,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Monday on a conference call, referring to Washington State’s Andre Dillard. “So that’ll be a big decision for them to make. Do they go where they have some holes on that defensive side or they go ahead and look at that tackle.”
Mayfield was a huge supporter of Robinson and left a parting gift in his locker after the season — an autographed No. 6 jersey with a personal message.
“He’s been a big, physical presence for us,” Mayfield said during the season. “That’s what we wanted. We wanted somebody to establish that left edge, be physical and set the tone.”