Browns acquire Moffitt from SD

Published 8:03 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BEREA (AP) — The Browns found an experienced guard to fill their widening hole on the right side.

Cleveland acquired offensive lineman John Moffitt in a trade from Seattle on Monday in exchange for defensive lineman Brian Sanford.

With both Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston sidelined with ankle injuries and expected to miss the first few regular-season games, the Browns were thin at guard. They considered using rookie Garrett Gilkey, a left tackle in college, at right guard before getting Moffitt, who started 15 games the past two seasons for the Seahawks.

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“John’s a tough and versatile lineman who will be in the mix for us up front,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said.

The 6-foot-4, 319-pound Moffitt started the final six games — four at right guard, two at left — last season, helping Seattle earn a spot in the NFC playoffs. The Seahawks drafted Moffitt in the third round in 2011 out of Wisconsin. He started his first nine games as a rookie before sustaining a season-ending knee injury.

Moffitt has also had elbow surgery and he was suspended four games in 2011 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Moffitt tested positive for Adderall, which is banned by the league. At the time, his agent said Moffitt had a prescription to use the drug for hyperactivity.

In their release, the Browns pointed out that Moffitt is the 11th player acquired this season who is either 26 or 27 years old. Also, the trade is Cleveland’s fourth involving a player since April 1.

“We continue to look each day of the year for any opportunity to improve our roster,” CEO Joe Banner said. “We’re committed to a building a team that can consistently compete in this league.”

Sanford played in six games the past three seasons for Cleveland, which originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He spent the past two years bouncing back and forth between the Browns’ practice squad and active roster.

The 6-2, 280-pounder was involved in a few skirmishes this year in training camp. The Browns have depth up front on defense, making Sanford somewhat expendable.

The Browns also terminated the contract of fullback Brock Bolen. He signed with the club in July but has been bothered by a calf injury.