A day after former walk-on Rick Wagner was reportedly heading to the NFC North on a big deal, another former Wisconsin Badgers standout appears to be also breaking the bank—and making NFL history.
Former Cincinnati Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler will sign a five-year, $60 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported. Schefter reports Zeitler will receive $31.5 million in guaranteed money.
That will make Zeitler, a former first-team All-American for Wisconsin during the 2011 season, the highest-paid guard in league history.
Reports from Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and the Enquirer’s Jim Owczarski also confirmed the move north for Zeitler. Owczarski noted the Bengals “never formally proposed a contract” to the Milwaukee native.
Former Bengals G Kevin Zeitler expects to sign with Cleveland, per sources. Big day for Browns O line. Highest paid guard in NFL history.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2017
Zeitler played in 72 games (71 starts) for the Bengals since being drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft (27th overall).
On Wednesday, it was reported that Wagner would sign with the Detroit Lions for around $9 million per year.
So about that 2011 Wisconsin OL:— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) March 9, 2017
LT Rick Wagner ($9M per yr)
LG Travis Frederick ($9.4M per yr)
RG Kevin Zeitler ($12M per yr)
Zeitler will join All-Pro left tackle and former Wisconsin standout Joe Thomas on the Browns’ offensive line. Cleveland has been busy over the past two days rebuilding its offensive line, reportedly signing former Green Bay Packers center/guard J.C. Tretter and re-signing left guard Joel Bitonio.
Former walk-on, captain, Big Ten Linebacker of the Year and All-American outside linebacker Joe Schobert also plays for the Browns.
Check out WTMJ4 with Lance Allan tonight for an intriguing look at Zeitler’s day.