Tales from the In-Box: The Receivers

Rumors of holdouts and staph infections? Oh, my! Fortunately, Mr. Adkins is here to get us the straight scoop. Lane weeds through the underbrush to get us updated on what will happen at the receiving positions this year.

Q: What is the latest regarding the recent knee surgery for Kellen Winslow

LA: Winslow is rehabbing and all indications are that he is ahead of schedule. The procedure was not significant and the tight end is anticipated to participate in the off-season camps. There is absolutely nothing which would indicate the player will not be as physically capable as he can be for training camp.

Q: We have heard the rumors or news that Winslow seeks a contract negotiation. Has this process started and is he expected to get a new deal or are we looking at a holdout?

LA: Dialogue between Winslow's agent, Drew Rosenhaus and the organization has begun. It's anticipated that a deal will be reached to extend/restructure his contract, with the tight-end seeking compensation which would make him one of the highest paid players at his position, with an increase of upfront/guaranteed dollars. I would be extremely surprised if Winslow would become a holdout because both parties appear willing to hammer a deal out. Never say never, of course... there is no new deal in place, but limited talks have been constructive.

Q: The signing of Donte Stallworth is expected to provide additional speed and depth to the position, but what does the team do for depth behind Edwards, Stallworth and Jurevicius?

LA: The top three at the position appear set, with Stallworth slotted to replace Jurevicius as the number-two receiver, which will permit the veteran Jurevicius to work more in the slot and take advantage of his physical size against nickel/dime backs. This move should also benefit Jurevicius physically, as he wore down and struggled with a knee injury during the second half of the season.

In Donte Stallworth, the Browns suddenly have a receiver with the experience, speed and quickness to stretch the field and become a viable threat in the passing game. In Rob Chudzinski's offensive scheme, Stallworth could put up exceptional numbers.

Presently the Browns have Kevin Kasper, Travis Wilson, Steve Sanders basically locked in a little drum filling the final spot or two at the position. Joshua Cribbs will be utilized at receiver in a limited capacity as well, lessening the immediate need of additional talent at the position.

Q: Is Jurevicius expected to be healthy and participate in the off-season activities following off-season knee surgery... there were rumors that he had a staph infection which could end his playing career?

LA: Jurevicius is expected participate in off-season activities and be healthy for training camp, in what may be his last season following off-season knee surgery. I don't know all the specifics, but have been told Jurevicius is going to be good to go in 2008 and this local native really wants to help bring a championship back to Cleveland. 

Q: For as good as the Cleveland offense was in the 2007 season, the team could only be a play away from losing Kellen Winslow or Joe Jurevicius. If both went down, what would be the impact on the production of the unit and who would legitimately replace them?

LA: Losing a Winslow or Jurevicius would certainly impact the offensive scheme, but the same could be said about almost any player on the unit. Backing up Winslow is Steve Heiden. While not as physically gifted as Winslow, Heiden is a capable receiver and would not disappoint in this scheme. Jurevicius' role changes in 2008, while still an important piece to the puzzle, he is not being counted on to carry the weight he did in the 2007 season.   

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