The Browns brought former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Paul McQuistan and former Buffalo Bills defensive end Alex Carrington to town for free-agent visits today, a team spokesman said.
Both players would be in line for significant roles if they sign with the Browns.
McQuistan, 30, entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick (No. 69 overall) of the Oakland Raiders in 2006, and he actually served as a backup for the Browns in 2010 but did not play. Since leaving the Browns for the Seahawks in 2011, he has shown versatility and started 40 of the 48 regular-season games in which he has appeared.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound McQuistan started 14 games last season -- nine at left tackle and five at left guard -- for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks. In 2012, he tallied 16 starts -- nine at right guard and seven at left guard. In 2011, he had 10 starts -- three at left guard, three at right guard and four at left tackle.
The Browns need a starting guard to pair with John Greco, who held the top spot on the depth chart at left guard last season. They also might want an upgrade over starting right tackle Mitchell Schwartz. McQuistan, a Weber State University product, could be in the mix to compete for a starting job at guard and tackle because of his experience at both spots.
ProFootballFocus.com’s rankings suggest McQuistan has struggled while playing tackle but has been respectable as a guard.
Last season, he finished 71st out of 76 offensive tackles in PFF’s rankings. The website did not include him in its rankings for guards last year. However, he finished 57th out of 81 guards in 2012 and 45th out of 78 guards in 2011.
As for Carrington, he has a strong connection to new Browns coach Mike Pettine. When Pettine was the defensive coordinator of the Bills last year, Carrington earned a starting job at defensive end in training camp.
Carrington, though, suffered a torn quadriceps muscle in Week 3 and was sidelined for the rest of the season. He was in the final year of his rookie contract with the Bills, who drafted him in the third round (72nd overall) out of Arkansas State University in 2010.
Despite the setback, there is still a possibility that Carrington could play a significant role for Pettine if the Browns land him. The Browns, though, have competition from other franchises. Carrington, 26, also has reportedly visited the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders. He has reportedly received interest from the St. Louis Rams.
The 6-5, 301-pound Carrington compiled 10 tackles and started each of the three games in which he appeared last season. He had his most productive season in 2012, when he played in all 16 games as a backup and compiled 19 tackles, including two sacks, three passes defensed, a forced fumble, three blocked field goals and a blocked extra-point attempt.
If the Browns sign Carrington, they would add a young player who’s familiar with Pettine’s 3-4, hybrid scheme. He would likely be used in a rotation with Desmond Bryant and Ahtyba Rubin, the projected starting ends.