After sitting out 2006, McKinney goes to Browns
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns signed offensive lineman Seth McKinney to a one-year deal Wednesday, when they also terminated fullback Terrelle Smith's contract before he was due a roster bonus at the end of the week.
McKinney started 34 games in five seasons with the Miami Dolphins but missed all of last season after having neck surgery. The 6-foot-3, 310-pounder can play guard and center.
His addition will help the Browns' offensive line, which was thinned by injuries last season. Cleveland has made its line a priority during free agency and has already re-signed center Hank Fraley and given Eric Steinbach -- one of the best players in this year's free agent class -- a seven-year, $49.5 million contract.
McKinney started 13 games at center in 2005 and was part of a Miami offensive line that yielded just 26 sacks. He was selected in the third round of the 2002 draft out of Texas A&M.
Smith, who has blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in five of his seven seasons, joined the Browns as a free agent in 2004.
Reuben Droughns rushed for 1,232 yards behind Smith in 2005, becoming the first Browns back to surpass 1,000 yards since Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner did it in 1985. But the Browns' running game regressed last season, when Droughns gained just 758 yards.
He will be replaced by Lawrence Vickers, a sixth-round draft pick last season and a favorite of coach Romeo Crennel.
Smith, originally an unrestricted free agent out of Arizona State, played four seasons in New Orleans. He blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in each season there -- Ricky Williams in 2000 and 2001, and Deuce McAllister in 2002 and 2003.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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