The Browns have voted five captains — left tackle Joe Thomas, linebacker Christian Kirksey, linebacker Jamie Collins, cornerback Jamar Taylor and punter Britton Colquitt — to lead them through the 2017 season.
Head coach Hue Jackson made the announcement Monday as Cleveland prepares to host the Steelers this weekend in its season opener.
“I think that’s a tremendous honor for those guys to be named captain by their teammates,” Jackson said.
Thomas — who enters his 11th season — hasn’t missed an offensive snap since he was drafted by the Browns in 2007, earning franchise record 10 consecutive Pro Bowls along the way. He’s also the team’s most-tenured player by seven years.
Kirksey enters his fourth season after a breakout campaign in which he led Cleveland both on and off the field. In his first year as a full-time starter, he led the team with 148 tackles (third-most in the NFL) and earned the PFWA Dino Lucarelli ‘Good Guy Award, given annually to a player for his cooperation with the media and for the way he carries himself in the community and with his teammates.
After coming to Cleveland via a midseason trade, Collins — the former New England star who helped the Patriots win a Super Bowl in 2015 — re-signed with the Browns despite a 1-5 season and chance to test free agency. In eight games, he totaled 48 tackles and two sacks.
Taylor, whom the Browns acquired from the Dolphins in a trade two springs ago, put together the best season of his five-year career, totaling three interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 46 tackles in 15 games (14 starts).
Colquitt signed with Cleveland one week before the 2016 season after seven seasons with the Broncos. He averaged 40.3 yards a punt.