Bitonio will be guaranteed $23 million, which ranks third among NFL offensive guards behind Chicago's Kyle Long ($30 million) and Oakland's Kelechi Osemele ($25.4 million), according to ESPN's Roster Management System.
The terms and length of the extension were not yet available, but this must mean the Browns feel positive about Bitonio's health. He is coming off Lisfranc surgery that ended his 2016 season after five games. In 2015, Bitonio played 10 games before being sidelined by an ankle injury.
That Bitonio is being rewarded indicates how he played when healthy; there is strong feeling in the league that Bitonio can be a Pro Bowl player.
The concern will be keeping him healthy. Lisfranc can be a tough recovery. Bitonio did start 16 games as a rookie.
Bitonio is the second of two players the Browns retained this season. In February linebacker Jamie Collins signed a four-year extension. The fact talented young players want to stay in Cleveland says something.
The Browns also are expected to sign receiver Kenny Britt when free agency begins at 4 p.m. on Thursday.