The Browns have their Pro Bowl safety in the fold—at least for this season.
The Browns confirmed late Friday afternoon that restricted free agent Tashaun Gipson signed his second-round contract tender for the 2015 season, which will pay him $2.356 million this season. Gipson has missed all of the OTA’s to date as he was unhappy that he wasn’t tendered the first-round tender, which would’ve paid him approximately one million more this season.
As a restricted free agent, Gipson was able to sign with any other team and the Browns would’ve been able to match the offer or receive a second-round draft choice. Gipson did not receive any offers from another NFL team, leaving him with very few options for this season, but to sign the tendered contract.
Gipson is expected to be at the mandatory veteran mini camp next Tuesday through Thursday. The Browns could’ve rescinded the offer to Gipson if the offer wasn’t signed by Monday.
Mike Pettine said on Thursday after OTA practice that he expected Gipson’s absence to be soon forgotten once he returned.
“When he’s here we’ll coach the heck out of him,” Pettine said. “I can’t speak for where he is from a frame of mind or what his plans are, but when he’s here he’ll be welcomed. Been through this in all my time in the NFL, guys with contract issues. Things very quickly get forgotten once they show up.”
The Browns are hoping to sign Gipson to a long-term contract before he hits free agency after this season. However, if he becomes a free agent, they still would be able to place the transition or franchise tag on him.
Gipson was an undrafted rookie free agent signed in 2012 from Wyoming. Gipson become a starter for the final three games of the 2012 season. In 2013, Gipson started 15 games and totaled 105 tackles with five interceptions.
Last season, Gipson had 52 tackles six interceptions in the first 11 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury against the Falcons. Gipson was leading the NFL when he was injured and still finished second in the NFL and earned his first Pro Bowl berth.
Since 2013, Gipson’s 11 interceptions rank second in the NFL, behind only Seattle’s Richard Sherman, who has 12.