Thursday, May 21, 2009
Cribbs releases statement on situation
ESPN.com news services
BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver and return specialist Josh Cribbs attended a team meeting on Thursday after previously threatening to skip the voluntary minicamp this week.
Cribbs, who is trying to renegotiate his contract, missed the first two days, and released a statement to "Browns fans and the Browns" to express his discontent with the current lack of negotiations.
Cribbs did meet with coach Eric Mangini following the full team meeting, but Cribbs did not take part in the afternoon team workouts.
"I look forward to him being out there," said Mangini, who declined to say whether he would be open to renegotiating the final four years on Cribbs' six-year, $6.7 million deal. "These are voluntary camps, so it's not a mandatory situation.
"Everybody has to make the decision whether to attend or not. But I can tell you there is a ton of information going in, and it's an opportunity for us to see all the different players. When you're here, you get those reps. When you're not, you don't."
Cribbs has intimated that he would ask for a trade if there is no progress, and his lengthy statement made it clear that he was upset, but that he also wanted to stay with the Browns.
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"I humbly and respectfully come to Browns fans and the Browns letting all know that I have given my all to this team, on and off the field for 4 complete years selflessly without regard to myself and my own family," Cribbs' statement read.
"Contracts are one-sided in favor of the team, yet we as players are told to honor our contracts without the team honoring them. We are not doctors and lawyers, we don't get paid for 25 years of work. If we are lucky, we get 10 years at best to make all the money we can to last the rest of our life."
"This is not personal, but I have to be a man and take care of my family for not just a year or two, but for as long as I am walking this earth," Cribbs' statement continued. "I want nothing more but to wear the Browns' logo on my chest until my career
has come to an end, and I am deeply disappointed that the team I put my hard
work, blood, sweat and tears in will just write me off as though I am
Cribbs' agent, J.R. Rickert, has said the club's previous management team made promises to renegotiate with the former Pro Bowler. Cribbs is scheduled to make $620,000, $635,000, $650,000 and $790,000 during the next four years.
Rickert said he has had some dialogue with the team, but said talks "have not been meaningful."
A 2007 Pro Bowl selection, Cribbs has developed into one of the most versatile players in the NFL. He averaged 1,945 all-purpose yards in 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. Mangini has said he plans to use Cribbs at cornerback for around 18 plays a game.
Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.