TheOBR.com has learned this morning that the Browns have completed a trade for offensive lineman Lennie Friedman of the Chicago Bears for an undisclosed draft pick. Friedman can play either guard or center, and is expected to back up new starting center Ross Tucker.
Friedman is a seven-year NFL veteran out of Duke and has appeared in 65 games over the course of his career, including 32 starts. In 2001, Friedman started fourteen games for the Denver Broncos. Last year in Chicago, Friedman appeared in eleven games. Prior to the Bears, Friedman has also played with the Redskins and Broncos.
According to a league source, rookie OL Tyler Reed was ahead of Friedman on the depth chart at guard thus making him expendable.
The acquisition of Friedman makes lineman Alonzo Ephraim expendable. As we relayed on Tuesday night's radio program, the OBR anticipated that Ephraim, who has been suspended four games by the NFL, was likely to be released once the Browns found an adequate replacement. Friedman fills a similar role, so we expect the team to soon announce the release of Ephraim.
Interestingly, Friedman is represented by Neil Cornrich, who also represents Browns GM Phil Savage.
More details as we get them...