Shortly after season’s end, the apocalypse was upon us as Joshua Cribbs was allegedly not a part of the Cleveland Browns plans going forward. One month later, it appears that all is well in the world as contract negotiations between Cribbs and the Browns front office is reported to be going very smoothly, leading to very high optimism.
The OBR reports that a deal should be in place by the mid-April draft, and there is even a chance that the ink has dried on a new contract prior to the official start of the 2010 season in March.
Recall that Cribbs and his team were looking for a contract extension to be discussed approximately four days following the official end to the 2009 season. Team president Mike Holmgren had not had the chance to unpack his bags before player representation was looking to discuss numbers. When numbers were discussed, Cribbs’ team was put off by the alleged low-ball offer of $1.4 million per year. The words “final offer” were attributed to then team executive Dawn Aponte while Cribbs was reportedly looking for $2.5-$3 million annually.
Coupling all of this together, Cribbs’ team took to the media to discuss their unhappiness. Radio row, ESPN television shows, Twitter… The special teams star even went as far as to make sure he said goodbye to Berea staff while cleaning out his locker.
Since this time, Cribbs and his representatives have put down their picket signs and have let the dust settle in Berea. The Browns have added Tom Heckert to the general manager’s chair, and he has brought in his own team of personnel executives. Aponte has since been “traded” to the Miami Dolphins and now it is reported that the alleged “final offer” has actually been increased.
In reaching out to Cribbs’ agent JR Rickert, things are described as being “very positive.” The OBRstates that current negotiations have focused around a low-end number that meets Cribbs’ expectations, which could likely be increased via incentives and would be based upon what Cribbs is asked to do on the field.
Cribbs Contract: Consummation Close? [John Taylor/The OBR – S/R]
(image via Flickr)