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Chris Hubbard: 'Powerhouse' Browns have what it takes to be 'top contender' in AFC

Free-agent offensive lineman Chris Hubbard is biased, but the former Cleveland Browns player believes his old team has what it takes to return to heavyweight status this season.

"For me, I'm not just saying this because I've been there, but just looking at everything and all the (drafting) that they have done this past year, they're adding so many weapons on that team," Hubbard told Good Morning Football on Tuesday. "I just feel like the Browns (have) what it takes, man, to be a top contender, when it comes to everything that they've done with Andrew Berry stacking on everybody and making sure that guys are in the right position to play, and Kevin Stefanski, and they've got coach (Jim) Schwartz over there now.

"Man, it's a powerhouse. I really feel like it's a real powerhouse."

The Browns were limited in terms of what they could do in the 2023 NFL Draft, given that they were still paying the price for last year's trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson. But via veteran additions, they've bolstered two need positions at defensive tackle (Dalvin Tomlinson, Maurice Hurst, Trysten Hill) and wide receiver (Elijah Moore, Marquise Goodwin). They also replaced the departed John Johnson and Jadeveon Clowney, respectively, with Juan Thornhill, Ogbo Okoronkwo and the recent trade for Za'Darius Smith.

Cleveland finished in fourth place a year ago at 7-10, with the other three AFC North teams all finishing above .500. Hubbard knows the division well, having played the past five seasons with the Browns and his first five years in the league with the Steelers.

Hubbard, 32, is taking free-agent visits and hopes to extend his career. He said wherever he ends up, they'll be getting a multi-positional blocker who will put in the time necessary to get the job done.

"I know for a fact that they're gonna come in and get a worker, somebody that's gonna be a leader, somebody that's gonna give everything in their body," Hubbard said. "I can play any position: center, guard, tackle. I'm a Swiss Army knife when it comes to playing the position on the line.

"Whatever (system) I may fit in, whatever (position) it may be on that O-line, I'm more than happy to be able to put my efforts and give everything that I got when it comes on Sunday and throughout the work week when it comes to preparing for a football game."

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