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Browns sign 'Bama tackle Wills, team's first-round pick

Tue Jul 7 9:36pm ET
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

In this Feb. 28, 2020, file photo, Alabama offensive lineman Jedrick Wills runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. The Cleveland Browns have signed rookie tackle Wills, their first-round draft pick who will try to slide over to the left side in the NFL. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)


CLEVELAND (AP) Jedrick Wills has slid into place for the Browns.

The former Alabama star right tackle, who will attempt to slide over to the left side for Cleveland, signed his four-year, $19.7 million contract on Tuesday, two weeks before he's scheduled to report to his first NFL training camp. The deal includes an $11.9 million signing bonus.

The Browns selected Wills with the No. 10 overall pick in April's draft, which boasted an elite class of tackles.

Cleveland has plugged the vital position the past two seasons with stop-gap measures following perennial All-Pro Joe Thomas' retirement after the 2018 season. Cleveland's hoping Wills can be their long-term answer at left tackle, but he'll first have to adjust to playing on that side of the line after working exclusively at right tackle for the Crimson Tide.

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Wills started his final 28 games at Alabama, where he opened huge running lanes and protected the blindside of left-handed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He only allowed one sack last season as a junior before deciding to turn pro. He was named a second-team AP All-American.

His athleticism and versatility is what set him apart from the other tackles for the Browns, who have been impressed with his eagerness and aptitude during their virtual offseason program.

New Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan said Wills has picked things up quickly through video training.

''It has been really positive,'' Callahan said last month. ''He is really a sponge of information. He has absorbed all the content that you can give him and he wants more. I am really excited about him. I am eager to at some point get on the field with him.''

The Browns have signed five of their seven draft picks. The only unsigned players are second-round safety Grant Delpit and third-round linebacker Jacob Phillips - both from LSU.

Player Notes
Baker Mayfield Jul 7 10:00pm ET

The Cleveland Browns signed No. 10 overall pick Jedrick Wills to his rookie contract on Tuesday. Wills and the team agreed upon a four-year, $19.7 million deal with a team option for a fifth year. The entire contract is fully guaranteed and the rookie tackle will take home an $11.889 million signing bonus. With Wills under contract, Cleveland has all but two of their draft picks signed as they gear up to begin training camp later in the month. Wills has plenty of work ahead of him as he will be asked to switch from right tackle, which he played in college, to left tackle. All reports about Wills' switch have been positive up until this point as the protector of Baker Mayfield's blind side.

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