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Top draft pick Phil Taylor signs deal, ready to play ball for Browns


BEREA — Top draft pick Phil Taylor ended his training camp holdout Tuesday by signing a

four-year, $8.1 million guaranteed contract with the Browns.

The defensive tackle from Baylor via Penn State came to an agreement early in the afternoon and officially signed his deal at 6 p.m. He was the eighth and final member of Cleveland’s draft class of 2011 to report.

“It’s time,” Taylor tweeted. “Just ready to play.”

The 6-foot-3 and 335-pound Taylor met with Browns president Mike Holmgren upon arriving at the team headquarters.

Coach Pat Shurmur said the 21st overall selection won’t be given time to catch up on the first four days of camp. Instead, he plans to throw Taylor into the fire at the next practice Thursday morning.

“It’s apparent that Phil kept himself in excellent shape since we drafted him, and he told us he can’t wait to get started,” general manager Tom Heckert said. “It was important to get him in here when we did, and I want to thank (agent) Peter Schaffer for all of his help in getting this deal done.”

Taylor was the fourth-to-last holdout among first-round picks. New England tackle Nate Solder (17), San Diego defensive tackle Corey Liuget (18) and New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara (19) remain unsigned.

Heckert addressed another of the Browns’ needs by agreeing to terms with free agent cornerback Dimitri Patterson, according to NFL Network.

Patterson, 28, played in all 16 games last season with Philadelphia, grabbing four interceptions and making 52 tackles. The Tuskegee product is 5-10 and 200 pounds.

Contact Brian Dulik at

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