“It’s important for us to identify the young talented players on our roster, who fit our culture and make sure they remain Cleveland Browns,” said Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown. “Joel has proven that he is a smart, tough, physical football player and we view him as one of the best young linemen in this league. He exemplifies what we look for in a young leader on and off the field. We are excited to keep him here to be part of our foundation for a number of years to come.”
“I am so excited to be part of the Browns organization,” said Bitonio. “I want to thank the Haslams, Sashi (Brown), Coach (Hue) Jackson, Chris (Cooper), everyone for getting this done. They have unbelievable faith in me and I have faith in them. I am really pumped to be here to try to help build this up and turn the Browns around.”
A second round pick in 2014, Bitonio has started all 31 of his career games at left guard. Last season, he started the first five games before a foot injury ended his season. At the time of his injury, the Browns ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing average (5.62) and fifth in rushing yards (624). Bitonio is 6-4, 305 pounds and entering his fourth NFL season out of Nevada. He was the only offensive rookie voted to PFWA All-AFC team in 2014.