Cleveland Browns to sign Jack Conklin: Grade, reaction and more

The Cleveland Browns will sign free agent right tackle Jack Conklin formerly of the Tennessee Titans to a three-year deal in his impending free agency.

After four years with the Tennessee Titans, right tackle Jack Conklin has found a new football home for 2020. According ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Conklin will be joining the Cleveland Browns on a three-year deal worth $42 million. Since Conklin is still technically under contract with the Titans, this deal can only be agreed to in principle until the new league year begins on Wednesday.

Conklin was a former first-round pick by the Titans in the 2016 NFL Draft. The former No. 8 overall pick out of Michigan State was named First-Team All-Pro as a rookie in Tennessee. He looked to be off to a phenomenal start to his NFL career, but regressed in 2017 and was limited to only nine games in 2018. This led to the Titans not offering him a fifth-year option heading into last season.

Though he wasn’t as good as he was as a rookie, Conklin was a key contributor down the stretch for the Titans’ improbable run to the 2019 AFC Championship game. While he performed better when it counted, it was clear the Titans were ready to move on with Conklin. They proved this by prioritizing quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry in their free agencies.

Here are the contract details, the national reaction and a grade for Conklin going to the Browns.

Contract Details

Conklin inked a three-year deal worth $42 million to play for the Browns beginning in 2020. $30 million of that money is guaranteed.

Conklin will earn an average of $14 million annually for the life of the three-year contract. He will also be getting $20 million in 2020, per Schefter. A relatively short deal will allow Conklin to hit free agency again in three years once he’s 28 years old.

National Reaction

This one was met with near universal praise. Conklin is young, has performed at a high level and will be entering a new contract with a big chip on his shoulder. He immediately makes the right side of the Browns’ offensive line infinitely better. Along with agreeing in principle with former Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper on Monday, the Browns have made some noise already.

With this deal being very front-loaded and only three years in length, this is a great contract the Browns have on the books. Every year he will play under this deal will be in his mid-20s. If Baker Mayfield can’t succeed with a guy as talented as Conklin blocking on his right side, he may not be the answer in Cleveland. This is a significantly better deal for the Browns than the one for Hooper.

Grade: A