The Cleveland Browns are cutting veteran offensive tackle Tony Pashos after he gutted out an entire season despite a painful ruptured tendon in his left foot suffered during the preseason, according to agent Rick Smith.
Smith said that Pashos is "extremely upset," about how the Browns handled the situation.
Smith detailed how Pashos, 31, played through severe pain instead of going on injured reserve, and now he's being going to be released with a failed physical designation after undergoing surgery last Tuesday.
"It's ridiculous," Smith told Scout in a telephone interview. "These guys preach all this B.S. about being part of a team and he actually bought into that. Tony comes from immigrant parents who worked three jobs. He doesn't worry about the money. He went the extra mile and suffered. You would hope they would recognize that and have your back. Not even close."
A photograph of Pashos' foot post-surgery is especially gruesome and reveals the extent of the repair with multiple stitches evident and severe swelling and bruising around the incision.
Smith said that Pashos totally ruptured the peroneus longus tendon.
However, the peroneus brevis tendon wasn't torn.
That's why Pashos was informed he could have surgery immediately or have it after the season.
"He was able to stand out there and play 50 to 60 percent and basically gut it out," Smith said. "He did them a favor and didn't shut it down. He tried to make it work because they lacked depth on the offensive line. He took a ridiculous amount of pain killers to get through the season. Around Christmas, it turned into a triple ulcer. He missed the last game because he was in the hospital. He couldn't have the surgery because of the ulcer, so he had to wait two more months to have it."
Pashos isn't expected to be able to play this season.
"It's a nine to 10-month rehab," Smith said. "He should have shut it down at the end of the preseason and gotten paid for the entire year and be 30 to 45 days from being fully healthy by now. Instead, he's now going to probably lose this year and then he's another year older and coming off a year where he didn't have really good film because he couldn't move."
Pashos was due a $3.35 million base salary for next season. Under the collective bargaining agreement rules for injury protection, Pashos will make $1 million.
Smith said that he learned from the Browns that Pashos would be released while the offensive lineman was still in the hospital last week.
Among the other ways the Browns could have handled Pashos: cutting his pay or placing him on the physically unable to perform list to allow him to continue his rehabilitation with the team.
"Tony is a really tough dude," Smith said. "They don't make many like him anymore."
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