JC Tretter was recently re-elected as president of the NFL Players Association, but he will not return for another season with the Browns in 2022. Amid a reported pursuit of star Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who still faces 22 civil lawsuits but has drawn a strong trade market in recent days, Cleveland announced the release of the 31-year-old Tretter. The Browns had apparently tried to field offers for the veteran lineman before cutting him, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Tretter had become something of a team spokesman thanks to his role as NFLPA president, but besides that, he was a mainstay on Cleveland's offensive line, appearing in all but one game over the last five years. The former Packers center, who originally signed with the Browns in 2017, was entering the final year of a three-year, $32.5 million extension. His release immediately saves the Browns $8.2M, and comes one day after the release of fellow veteran Jarvis Landry, who was due over $15M in 2022.
Tretter, who has since thanked Browns fans, teammates and staff in a farewell message on social media, figures to have a formidable market with free agency officially kicking off Wednesday. Similarly experienced interior linemen have cashed in to the tune of at least $10M per year since the start of the league's legal tampering period, with fellow center Ryan Jensen of the Buccaneers, returning to Tampa Bay on a deal paying $13M per season.
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