Germain Ifedi, Falcons


Germain Ifedi, Falcons


Getty

Offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Cleveland Browns need to round out the offensive line heading into the upcoming season and made a move to that end earlier this week.

Per the team’s official website, the Browns have signed former first-round offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, most recently of the Buffalo Bills.

“[Ifedi] has made 59 career starts at right tackle and 24 [at] right guard,” ClevelandBrowns.com wrote of the signing on April 17. “Last [year], he spent most of the season on the Bills’ active roster but did not appear in a game.”

The Seattle Seahawks drafted Ifedi with the No. 31 overall pick in 2016, where he spent the first four years of his career. He then caught on with the Chicago Bears for a couple of seasons between 2020-21 and played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2022.


Browns Struggled With Health, Performance at Tackle Positions All of Last Season

Jedrick Wills, Browns

GettyLeft tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. of the Cleveland Browns.

Ifedi, who will play next season at 30 years old, hasn’t been a regular starter since the 2021 campaign. However, he could matter as a depth option in Cleveland given the team’s issues at the tackle positions — both with consistent play and consistent health.

Starting right tackle Jack Conklin suffered a major knee injury in the first half of the team’s Week 1 contest against the Cincinnati Bengals and missed the remainder of the season. Conklin earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2015, his first year in Cleveland. However, the tackle has missed 10 games, three games and 16 games, respectively, in the three regular-seasons since.

Starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. struggled with his performances for most of the 2023 campaign before suffering a season-ending MCL injury in November that cost him more than half the year (nine games). He is entering a $14.2 million fifth-year option on his rookie contract in 2024, which now looks like a massive overpay on Cleveland’s part.

It is safe to say Wills is playing for his long-term future with the Browns in 2024, as he has no years left on his current deal following the upcoming season.

Fourth-round rookie Dawand Jones was perhaps the sole pleasant surprise on the Browns’ O-line last year, at least in the tackle position. He filled in for Conklin and played well, despite a steep learning curve he was forced to navigate on the job for a playoff team.

However, Jones also suffered a season-ending knee injury during practice in early December, which sidelined him for the team’s final five regular-season games as well as its loss to the Houston Texans over Super Wildcard Weekend.


Browns’ Pro Bowl Guards Have Each Missed 2 Games in 1 of the Previous 2 Years

Guard Wyatt Teller is one of the core pieces of the Browns offensive line.

GettyOffensive guard Wyatt Teller of the Cleveland Browns. 

The ideal scenario for Cleveland as that the team never has to use Ifedi, but recent history suggests he will see time if he remains on the roster.

While the majority of Ifedi’s 102 NFL appearances have come at the tackle position, he has also played guard a decent amount and more frequently over the latter portion of his career. The Browns have Pro-Bowl caliber guards in Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller, though Bitonio missed two games last season and Teller missed two contests the year before.

Ifedi’s positional versatility could mean action for him if the Browns’ offensive line finds itself in dire straits due to injuries amid any regular-season game in 2024.

Max Dible covers the NFL, NBA and MLB for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Golden State Warriors. He covered local and statewide news as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and served as news director for BigIslandNow.com and Pacific Media Group’s family of Big Island radio stations before joining Heavy. More about Max Dible



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