The Browns went into free agency looking for a backup lineman capable of playing guard or center and got one high on their wish list when they signed Rex Hadnot to a two-year contract.
A year ago four of the five starters on the offensive line played all 16 games. The Browns cannot count on being that lucky in 2008 in what they hope will be a playoff season, so they landed Hadnot, who started all 16 games at right guard for the Dolphins last year. The year before he started 16 games at center for Miami.
The move for Hadnot, 6-2, 325 pounds, makes it certain Seth McKinney will not be returning. It also casts doubt on the progress of injured guard/center LeCharles Bentley. Bentley has not played since tearing his patellar tendon on the first day of training camp in 2006.
"The Browns are fortunate to add another quality lineman to our existing group," general manager Phil Savage said. "With his versatility and experience (55 starts at both center and guard), we feel great about having Rex on our team. He brings size, strength and has a physical style of play."
Hadnot's contract is for $7 million with $3.5 million guaranteed. It is far less than he was shooting for when he hit the open market, but teams were not clamoring for him as he thought they would be. Originally Hadnot was looking for $25 million over five years.
The Steelers, Chiefs, Texans and Titans had him in for visits as well as the Browns, but none of those teams made an offer. Bill Parcells did not want Hadnot back in Miami.
Last season left tackle Joe Thomas, left guard Eric Steinbach, center Hank Fraley and right tackle Kevin Shaffer each started all 16 games. The only shakeup on the line occurred when McKinney was knocked out with a shoulder injury after eight games. Ryan Tucker, normally a tackle, took over.
Hadnot was drafted by the Dolphins in the sixth round in 2004 after playing at the University of Houston. He played in 63 of a possible 64 games with the Dolphins, all but eight of them as a starter. He started 34 games at right guard, 19 at center and two at left guard.
How will the Browns integrate new offensive lineman Rex Hadnot? More importantly, what's the impact…