As Day 2 of the Kellen Winslow holdout dawns, one thing is clear: the Browns are winning the PR war.
The team's pre-emptive press release grew legs as the day went on, as it was read over local airwaves and got the team's point of view carried in press coverage.
An example of coverage can be found in the Associated Press wire story found in dozens of stories picked up by The.Raw.Feed. "Winslow's agent (Kevin Poston) rejected a contract offer – potentially worth at least $40 million – from the Cleveland Browns on Friday that would make him the highest paid tight end in NFL history."
Lane Adkins has been pointing out the key differences between the team and the Postons in Ask the Insiders, but press coverages focuses on the total amount available in the contract if incentives are achieved - opening Winslow and the Postons up for criticism based on comparisons to deals signed by Tony Gonzalez and Sean Taylor. Most of the incentives in the contract, however, are believed to be easy to reach.
The poll on the home page of BerniesInsiders.com shows clearly where public sympathy lies. At the time of this writing, an overwhelming 94% of fans believe that Winslow should have signed the deal, and comments left in the poll show that Browns fans are unsympathetic with the Poston's claims that Sean Taylor's deal was a bad one.
The Postons, at the same time, seem uninterested in waging a war in the media. The agents packed Winslow off to Houston, where he can work out safely removed from public criticism.
In addition, the agents are complained via The Plain Dealer that the Browns deal was made only three days before camp started, rather than the two weeks that was promised. In addition, the agents claim that Sean Taylor's contract, negotiated by unpopular agent (in Cleveland, at least) Jeff Moorad was a poor deal, pointing to Moorad's lack of experience with negotiating contracts for top NFL picks.