The Browns announced today that OG Joe Andruzzi has been released by the team. Andruzzi, who would have been entering his eleventh year as a pro, had been notified by the team earlier in the week that he was likely to be let go, a story broken earlier this week by the Orange and Brown Report.
Since being signed as a free agent from the Patriots, Andruzzi had missed five games in two years, and struggled mightily with weary knees in many of the games he played.
Browns head coach Romeo Crennel, however, told reporters that Andruzzi's knees were not the cause of his release.
"I think his knees are okay," Crennel told reporters, "He’s worked in the offseason and his rehab has been going well. It was our choice to move on because of the depth."
The notion of the Browns being deep enough on the offensive line to release players with even a modicum of remaining usefulness would be a relatively new development.
Crennel may have been helping the veteran somewhat, as Andruzzi isn't convinced that his career is over. The New York Jets, with another ex-Patriot coordinator turned head coach, Eric Mangini, have reportedly expressed some interest in Andruzzi.
Regardless, releasing a player who battled his way to a respectable NFL career wasn't easy on Crennel.
"It’s always tough to let anyone go. Both he and I have been in the business for a long time. We know it’s part of the business and we have to deal with it."
"(Andruzzi) was an undrafted guy who didn’t think he was going to be able to play and he’s played for ten years. He’s had a good career and it might not be over because there might be someone else who would be interested in his talent."
Since coming into the league as an undrafted rookie from Southern Connecticut State, Andruzzi had played with the Packers, Patriots and Browns. Over his career, Andruzzi has appeared in 122 games, starting 103.