Joe Thomas ‘ retirement brought an end to a legendary career and created a massive void at left tackle for the Cleveland Browns .
They took a step toward addressing that Sunday, signing second-round pick Austin Corbett to a rookie contract. Cleveland also signed two sixth-round picks: wide receiver Damion Ratley and defensive back Simeon Thomas .
Versatility is always a desirable trait in a football player, and especially in a lineman. It also creates opportunities for playing time quicker and more often. Corbett is well aware of this.
I’m definitely a tackle player, Corbett said. I spent the last four years there, but at the Senior Bowl , again, that was my chance to move inside and I felt really comfortable at those positions as well. Really, whatever the Browns want me to do, I’m going to do for them. I’m just super excited to get into Cleveland.
The 6-foot-4, 306-pound lineman began the process of determining his role at Cleveland’s rookie minicamp which began Friday. Where that leads is unknown at this point, but if it is to left tackle, he’ll have massive shoes to fill.
Those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, cautioned that no final determination has been made as the owners prepare to take up the anthem issue when they gather later this month in Atlanta at their regularly scheduled spring meeting.
Several other possibilities remain, from leaving the current anthem policy unchanged to forging a different compromise that would result in a league-wide policy by which players would be required to stand for the anthem if they’re on the sideline but would be given the option to remain in the locker room. Or the NFL could revert to its pre-2009 approach of keeping all players in the locker room until after the anthem is played.