The Browns have signed offensive lineman John Greco to a contract extension and tendered wide receiver Jordan Norwood and defensive lineman Brian Schaefering as exclusive rights players, the team announced today.
The Browns later reached an agreement to re-sign tight end Alex Smith to a one-year deal, a league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal. The team has yet to announce the move.
The Browns also announced they have cut offensive right tackle Tony Pashos and punter Richmond McGee.
Greco, 26, appeared in 15 games in a reserve role after being acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Rams on August 1, 2011. Greco, a graduate of Boardman High School, can play guard, center or tackle, so his versatility appeals to the Browns. The terms of Greco's deal were not immediately disclosed.
Smith, 29, played in each of the first 14 games last season and made four starts before being placed on injured reserve with an injured shoulder. Smith was listed as the third-string tight end on the depth chart, but he received significant playing time because of his skills as a blocker and knowlege of the West Coast offense.
Although the Browns have retained Greco and Smith, seven of their players from last season are now unrestricted free agents. As of 4 p.m. today, running back Peyton Hillis, free safety Mike Adams, cornerback Dimitri Patterson, offensive linemen Oniel Cousins, Artis Hick and Steve Vallos and punter Brad Maynard hit the open market.
The Browns can still try to re-sign those players, but they're also free to sign with any team now.
The Browns will not be re-signing Maynard, his agent, Chad Wiestling, told the Beacon Journal today. Reggie Hodges, who's trying to come back from a torn left Achilles tendon, is now the lone punter on the Browns' roster.
Norwood, 25, appeared in 14 games with four starts last season. Norwood, who's at his best in the slot, had a career-high 23 receptions for 268 yards and one touchdown. As outlined in the collective bargaining agreement, Norwood's 2012 base salary will be $465,000.
Schaefering, 28, appeared in all 16 games last season as a backup tackle and end. He had 29 tackles and a half sack. Schaefering's 2012 base salary will be $615,000.
Like Norwood and Schaefering, backup middle linebacker Titus Brown, 25, was eligible to receive an exclusive rights tender. Although the Browns did not extend an offer, they still like Brown and are monitoring his progress as he rehabilitates from a torn ACL he suffered last season, a league source told the Beacon Journal.