Monday, May 18, 2009
Source: Browns' Cribbs wants new deal
By John Clayton
Joshua Cribbs, upset because the Cleveland Browns haven't tried to renegotiate a contract he believes he's outperformed, could sit out the next two weeks of voluntary minicamp and might be close to asking for a trade, a source said.
A 2007 Pro Bowl selection, Cribbs has developed into one of the most versatile players in the NFL. He's averaged 1,945 all-purpose yards over the past three seasons.
One of the game's most dangerous return specialists, Cribbs is also a threat as a receiver and a running back. New Browns coach Eric Mangini even has plans to use Cribbs at cornerback for around 18 plays a game.
His complaint is a seven-year, $6.77 million contract extension he signed in 2006. According to a source, the Browns acknowledged to Cribbs last season he had outperformed his contract.
"Contrary to published reports this morning, no one from the current Browns organization, including owner Randy Lerner, has ever made any promises to Josh Cribbs with regard to his contract status," the Browns said in a statement Monday.
He has 2,312 all-purpose yards in 2007, a season in which he earned a Pro Bowl selection. Last year, he had 1,523 all-purpose yards.
He had 15 less kickoff returns last season but consistently has been able to break one or two returns for touchdowns a season.
Cribbs stayed quiet about his contract in 2008, anticipating a move from the team.
Coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Phil Savage lost their jobs at the end of the season, and Cribbs hoped the new administration would act on the remaining four years of his deal.
He's scheduled to make $645,000 this season. The source said he was recently informed that Mangini didn't want to change the contract.
The Browns have voluntary minicamps Tuesday through Thursday this week and next week.
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.