#7 – OL J.C. Tretter
The center of the offensive is in good hands with J.C. Tretter. Not on the level of Alex Mack or Shaun O’Hare in terms of talent but Tretter has shown to be a reliable and persistent force in the middle of the offensive line.
Tretter came to the Browns in 2017 from Green Bay on a three-year deal, worth $16.75 million and earned every bit of it. During Tretter’s run as the center of the offensive line, the running game has taken off and been the centerpiece of the offense. Finally, with a consistent rushing attack, the team took it’s best steps forwards in years. Despite a disastrous 2019, the team still won 13 games over two seasons, a rarity for the franchise since returning in 1999 and a much-improved record to the team’s 1-31 over two years during the 2015-2016 seasons.
Tretter has gone on to become one of the two best parts of an otherwise dismal offensive line. This was evident when the Browns gave Tretter a three-year extension that will keep the stalwart in a Browns uniform until at least 2022. His salary went up from $16.75 to $32.5 and it’s hard to deny he hasn’t earned the pay raise.
The team needs to build around him and Joel Bitonio if the team is going to continue to thrive but with those two anchoring the running game. Tretter will be entering his fourth year with the team, and his third as the center for Baker Mayfield. His experience working with Aaron Rodgers, and the previous three head coaches on the Browns give Tretter a lot of insight in how to run the offensive line and it’s blocking schemes. He’s intelligent and adaptable and that’s going to be important with a run-first offense for the 2020 season.