Browns five Pro Bowlers represent core of the team

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  • Cleveland Browns
    Cleveland Browns
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  • Joel Bitonio
    Joel Bitonio
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  • Wyatt Teller
    Wyatt Teller
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  • Nick Chubb
    Nick Chubb
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The Cleveland Browns are not having the season they had hoped to have on the field. Their 7-7 record with three games remaining has them on the outside looking in of the NFL playoffs. They still have a real shot at the AFC North crown and an outside shot at a wild card spot despite a tough closing schedule.

The team is far from satisfied and hasn’t made excuses but injuries throughout the season, drama and, recently, COVID-19 have made the season a difficult one. Expectations were heavy going in and no one believes they have met those expectations.

There have been some positives including the extensions given to Nick Chubb, Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller to help lock up key components of the running game. The team has also seen flashes from their rookie class starting with Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah with smaller contributions, but exciting ones, early in the season from Demetric Felton and Anthony Schwartz.

The core of the Browns team was rewarded with Pro Bowl selections this week. On top of the five selected, most for the team since 2013, four others were selected as alternatives:

While it is a quarterback-driven league, Cleveland has to be happy that they have four of their five Pro Bowlers signed to long-term deals. The team has invested in the right players so far:

Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett
Myles Garrett

[Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]

Garrett had the most votes among AFC defensive ends for his great season. Selected as a starter, Garrett has made three Pro Bowls since entering the league and, likely, would have had more if he wasn’t injured or suspended in other seasons.

The Browns locked their former #1 overall pick to a $100 extension and will have him for years to come.

Joel Bitonio

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The other starter, Bitonio has earned the respect around the league over time. Last week, despite the loss, he stepped in at left tackle and played very well in his first time at the position since college. This is his second consecutive start in the Pro Bowl and fourth selection.

Cleveland locked Bitonio up this year to a deal that should take him through the end of his career or close.

Nick Chubb

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Another player extended this year, Chubb has been a workhorse for the Browns since being selected in the second round by the team in 2016. While he has dealt with some injuries, he continues to be near the top of the league in rushing despite missed games. His consistency keeps the offense on track in most games.

This is Chubb’s third straight Pro Bowl selection.

Wyatt Teller

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Seemingly out of nowhere, Teller has become one of the best guards in the NFL. It wasn’t an easy battle in Cleveland but the 2018 selection by the Buffalo Bills caught on in 2019 and hasn’t looked back. This is his first Pro Bowl selection.

The Browns surprised some by locking Teller up to a long-term extension this year putting a premium on the offensive line and run game under Andrew Berry.

Denzel Ward

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Saving Ward for the end not because of talent but because he is the one Pro Bowler on this list that doesn’t have a long-term contract. This is the cornerback’s second Pro Bowl selection after coming on strong late in the year.

Cleveland’s fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Ward has one more year left before he could become a free agent. While his positional value is high, the Browns need to find a way to lock him up. The sooner, the better.

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