Hank Fraley Surprised By Release

The Cleveland Browns released veteran offensive lineman Hank Fraley yesterday.  The move very much took Fraley by surprise.

“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.

“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 University.

Even though I always root for fellow NEC grads (Go, Miles Austin!), I do think Fraley would be a great fit for the Chiefs depending on which way they go in the draft.  We saw last year how much Todd Haley values versatility in his linemen and you won’t find much more versatility in free agency than Fraley.

The connection to Kansas City defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel also shouldn’t be ignored.  Fraley saved Crenel’s bacon at the last second in 2006 when he filled in for the injured LeCharles Bentley.  A coach will always remember that sort of effort.

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