Browns sign Fujita, Pashos – is Troy Smith on the way?

The Browns signed a pair of free agents over the weekend, inking deals with linebacker Scott Fujita (three years, $16 million) and right tackle Tony Pashos (three years, $10.3 million).

The signing of Fujita probably signals the end of Eric Barton’s short tenure in Cleveland. The former New Orleans outside linebacker will play inside in Eric Mangini’s 3-4 defense and should do well at that position. While he’s an unspectacular player (i.e. he’s not going to make a ton of highlight reel plays), Fujita is fundamentally sound and plays the run extremely well.

Pashos will replace John St. Clair, who struggled mightily last year. With the Browns ready to transition to a power running game under Mike Holmgren, Pashos is a good fit because he’s a mauler in the run game. He is coming off an injury-plagued 2009 season, but has been durable over his career and should be healthy by the time camp opens.

Another interesting Browns-related nugget is that Troy Smith’s agent said on Monday that his client “would crawl from Baltimore right now to be able to play in Cleveland.” The Browns are looking for quarterbacks and Smith was tendered at the low level, which means he could be had for a fifth round pick. But is he a fit for the West Coast offense? It might be worth it for Holmgren to part with a fifth rounder to find out.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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