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Browns set to release OG Joe Andruzzi

CLEVELAND (May 2, 2007) -- The Cleveland Browns opened a hole for Joe Andruzzi.

The club informed the offensive guard and his agent they plan to release the 10-year-veteran later this week.

Andruzzi's impending departure is the lastest move on Cleveland's rebuilt offensive line. In March, the Browns signed free agent guard Eric Steinbach to a seven-year $49.5 million contract and on Saturday they drafted Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick.

The Browns also added veteran Seth McKinney during free agency.

Andruzzi started 27 games the past two seasons for the Browns, who signed him as a free agent in 2005. He has two more years left on his contract. He was scheduled to make $1.5 million next season and $2.5 million in 2008.

In releasing Andruzzi, the Browns are not likely to have either of their starting guards from last season. Cosey Coleman, who started at right guard, is a free agent and Cleveland doesn't appear interested in re-signing him.

A member of three Super Bowl winners with New England, the 31-year-old Andruzzi was signed by the Browns to stabilize their line and bring leadership to their young team. He had played under Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel with the Patriots.

Andruzzi, who battled a knee injury last season, spent three years with Green Bay before joining the Patriots in 2000. He has made 103 career starts.

With Thomas coming on at left tackle, the Browns have to decide what to do with Kevin Shaffer. He joined Cleveland before last season as a free agent, signing a six-year, $36 million deal.

Shaffer's agent has asked the Browns for permission to seek a trade.

If he doesn't get moved, there's a chance Shaffer could slide over into one of the guard spots previously held by Andruzzi or Coleman.

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