The Browns placed offensive tackle Donald Stephenson on the reserve/retired list on Friday, ending his tenure with the team that lasted less than four months.
The six-year veteran signed with the team back in March on a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with $1 million guaranteed. He was expected to compete at left tackle with Shon Coleman and Austin Corbett.
However when the offseason programs began in late April, Stephenson didn’t show up even though it was voluntary. When the media would ask head coach Hue Jackson, he responded:
“That will all come to an end here pretty soon. Obviously, the guy is not here for minicamp. There are fines involved. There are all of those things that we will deal with. At this time, I only want to talk about the guys that are here and working and doing the things that they need to be doing right now.”
On June 15 during the team’s mandatory minicamp, the NFL announced that Stephenson was suspended for the first two regular season games for violating the Substance Abuse policy.
Jackson stated that the team would be fining Stephenson for missing minicamp which was up to $84,435 according to Cleveland.com. Being suspended the first two games of the season, Stephenson was also losing $155,709.34 of his salary. Now that he’s opted to retire, the team doesn’t owe Stephenson any money including that guaranteed $1 million.
As for the team’s future at the offensive tackle position, the team is set at right tackle with free agent signing Chris Hubbard. At the left tackle position, it’s wide open with Coleman and Corbett as the front runners with fifth year pros Joel Bitonio and Greg Robinson as other potential options.