The Browns' offensive line was at their best when Ethan Pocic was at center last season, and they're bringing him back for more in 2023 and beyond.
The team has re-signed Pocic on a deal that will keep him in Cleveland through 2025. The extension comes after he stepped into a starting role in his first year with the Browns and performed well in 13 starts last season.
"I'm really excited about Ethan being back as he played at a high level for us last season," head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "He's a great fit in our building and someone that has a lot of experience in this league. He's a big, physical presence up front and we're happy to have him back."
The extension is well-deserved for Pocic, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the new league year begins. After spending his first five seasons with the Seahawks and joining the Browns in free agency last year, he graded as one of Pro Football Focus' top centers in the league last season, amassing an overall grade of 79.0 that ranked third among NFL centers. His 79.1 run block grade and 71.5 pass block grade were both career-highs, and he continued to play well in the final three games of the year after missing four games due to a knee injury.
"I'm excited to get to work and just continue to try to grow as a player," Pocic said. "It's fun to play in that room and be coached by great coaches and play with great players around you. It's just fun to go to work with them."
The trio of Pocic and Pro Bowl guards Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller gave the Browns one of the strongest interior offensive lines in the league, and they're now all set to work together through 2025. They'll look to keep pockets clean for QB Deshaun Watson and continue paving big holes for RB Nick Chubb, who was third in the league with 1,525 rushing yards and voted to the Pro Bowl for the fourth straight season in 2022.
"They set the standard," Pocic said. "It's awesome to play with elite players like that. I believe they're going to make me better, too. I'm really happy to be with them and go to work with them."
The Browns are set to have Pocic and third-year veteran Nick Harris back at the center position for 2023.
Check out photos of C Ethan Pocic, who signed an extension with the Browns after a solid first season in Cleveland in 2022