Former Pro Bowl center Hank Fraley was one of the first casualties of the Mike Holmgren era as he was released Wednesday afternoon by the Browns.
Fraley said he was totally caught by surprise by the move.
“I was talking with the Browns at the end of the season and was feeling pretty good that I would be a Brown again,” Fraley said while traveling in New Jersey. “It caught me off guard. I just have to pick up and move on.”
Fraley was one of the most popular Browns players and was voted team captain for the 2008 season and played a role in helping rookie Alex Mack learn the ropes of playing the center position.
Fraley stepped in and started when LeCharles Bentley was lost for the 2006 season on the first day of training camp in 2007. He was acquired by the Browns for a draft choice from the Eagles just eight days prior to the regular season. Ironically, current Browns general manager Tom Heckert was with the Eagles.
“I’m alright,” he said. “Free agency starts in two days and we’ll see what happens.”
The 10-year pro said he definitely wants to keep playing.
“It was only about an hour ago, but I definitely want to keep playing if there’s an opportunity for me.”
Fraley started all 16 games at center from 2006-08 before being replaced by Mack in 2009. In 2009, Fraley filled in at guard, tight end, as well as center. Fraley played with the Eagles from 2000-2005 after signing as an undrafted free agent from Robert Morris College.