The Browns announced on Wednesday that they have signed DE Simon Fraser and LB Mason Unck to new one-year contracts. Financial details of the contracts were not disclosed.
Both players are bottom-half of the roster role player who can both contribute during the 2007 season.
Fraser, a third-year defensive end out of Ohio State was originally signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2005 draft. He's show some ability to navigate between offensive linemen and plays with a high motor, which helped him to four-and-a-half sacks in 2006, which was frequently inserted into the lineup in place of the aging and hobbled Orpheus Roye. The Buckeye lineman wound up with five starts and 36 tackles to go with the sacks.
Fraser doesn't necessarily excel in run pursuit, and isn't viewed as a player who would threaten the starting roles of either Orpheus Roye or Robaire Smith, but does well as an upfield pass-rushing DE.
Mason Unck's special team skills have enabled him to stick around for a fourth year, and give him a decent shot of holding onto a roster spot into the season. Unck ranked second on the Browns in special teams tackles last season, and have racked up 56 special teams tackles over his 44 complete games with the Browns.
Ever since his college career as a PAC-10 special teams demon, Unck's willingness and ability on coverage units has kept him a member of the orange and brown. The fourth-year player finds himself far down the depth chart at inside linebacker, a situation that wasn't helped by the team drafting D'Qwell Jackson and Leon Williams in 2006. Unck plays the position somewhat upright and has trouble shedding blocks, attributes which will probably keep him from challenging for a starting role. Nonetheless, Unck is the type of willing, ready, and able special teams player that teams need, and has better than even odds of making the regular season roster despite an increasingly deep Browns LB corps.