Browns releasing center, NFLPA president JC Tretter

Another key member of the Browns' turnaround is headed to free agency.

Cleveland has released center JC Tretter, the team announced Tuesday.

Tretter moved from Green Bay to Cleveland in 2017 and appeared in all but one regular-season game in his five seasons with the team, filling a much-needed role as a reliable center in a remade offensive line. His leadership stood out within the Browns, who transformed from the NFL's worst team in 2017 to a contender, finally reaching the postseason and winning the franchise's first playoff game since the 1994 season in the 2020 campaign.

That same leadership resonated with players across the NFL. Tretter was elected NFL Players Association president in 2020 and played a key role in guiding the NFLPA through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years, earning a second term earlier this month.

Tretter has remained remarkably consistent in his career, posting Pro Football Focus grades of 72 or better in each of his last four seasons. He ranked sixth among all centers in 2021, showing he can still play the position at a premier level, even as he moves beyond 30 years old.

Tretter was entering the final year of a three-year extension signed in 2019. His release will immediately save the Browns more than $8 million in cap space, while the Cornell-educated center will hit the open market as a coveted veteran for teams in need of prime leadership and performance at the position.

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