Browns part with Andruzzi after two seasons
Continuing the remaking of their offensive line, the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday released veteran guard Joe Andurzzi, making the 10-year veteran an unrestricted free agent.
The release of Andruzzi, who started 27 games for the Browns over the past two seasons, means the team will enter 2007 without its two starting guards from a year ago. Seven-year veteran Cosey Coleman is an unrestricted free agent and still available, but Cleveland has made no effort to re-sign him.
Andruzzi, 31, was acquired by the Browns in 2005 as an unrestricted free agent, not only for his football skills but also for his locker room leadership. He had played five seasons in New England and was familiar with Browns' coach Romeo Crennel from the time they spent together with the Patriots.
In New England, Andruzzi was a part of three Super Bowl champion teams.
The former Southern Connecticut State standout, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Green Bay in 1997, wants to continue his career, according to agent Joe Linta. In stints with the Packers (1997-99), Patriots (2000-2004) and Browns (2005-2006), Andruzzi has played in 122 games, including 102 as a starter.
Andruzzi has logged at least 11 starts in each of the past seven seasons. He had two years left on his contract, at base salaries of $1.5 million (2007) and $2.5 million (2008).
The Browns have overhauled the offensive line, including the selection of left tackle Joe Thomas of Wisconsin with the third overall choice in the weekend draft, and figure to start a dramatically different unit in 2007.
At guard, Cleveland signed standout Eric Steinbach as an unrestricted free agent and he will start on the left side. The Browns also added veteran Seth McKinney in free agency and like developing youngster Isaac Sowells. There is also a chance that the selection of Thomas in the draft will precipitate a move of starting left tackle Kevin Shaffer to guard.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
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