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Browns tender contract to inside linebacker Craig Robertson, started 14 games last season

The Browns extended a contract tender to starting inside linebacker Craig Robertson as an exclusive-rights free agent.

Robertson started 14 games last season, his second with Cleveland. The 6-foot-1, 234-pounder finished with 89 tackles — 63 solos — and had three sacks and an interception.

An exclusive-rights free agent doesn't have negotiating power and must stay with a team if he's tendered. Robertson will make $570,000 next season.

With captain D'Qwell Jackson's recent release, Robertson is expected to take on a larger role with the Browns. However, it's not yet known how he's viewed by Cleveland's new coaching staff and the team will likely target an inside linebacker in free agency.

Robertson missed two games with a knee injury. He started three games as a rookie in 2012 after he was signed to Cleveland's practice squad.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org