If the Browns do not show some good faith effort regarding Josh Cribbs' contract situation, it would not be the least bit surprising if you start hearing the words "hold" and "out" grouped together in the not-so-distant future.
Cribbs signed a six-year, $6 million contract extension in November of 2006, and made a fair amount of waves last year about wanting to re-do the deal. A few months later, it seems to be an issue that's just not going to go away of its own volition.
According to a source close to Cribbs, the return specialist doesn't necessarily need a new deal "right at this minute", but he would like to see the club putting forth the effort to revamp a contract he feels he has outperformed. If that doesn't happen, there's a chance Cribbs could make himself unavailable for both OTAs and the offseason minicamps. And, yes, it could even linger into training camp.
That's not likely to happen or even be necessary, a Browns source said, as the new regime has every intention of addressing Cribbs' contract situation. Whether or not their way of addressing the situation matches up with Cribbs' remains to be seen, however.
Cribbs' agent, J.R. Rickert, told The OBR this afternoon that he's not ruling anything out or "taking anything off the table" as it concerns Cribbs' contract and the available options, but gets the sense from the organization that they are going to address the contract in a meaningful way. He would not address the comments made by the source to The OBR, other than to reiterate that no option on their end would be taken off the table.
Rickert spoke with new general manager George Kokinis recently, although there were no contract specifics discussed. The two sides will meet up again at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine, which begins February 18 and runs through the 24th. Rickert has a meeting with Kokinis scheduled for some point during the combine, and said "it would not be wrong to say" that he expects specific contract talks to begin at that time.
One additional, non-contract-related tidbit came out of the conversation with Rickert. According to the agent, Cribbs was in attendance at a meeting "either last Thursday or Friday" involving several players and being led by new head coach Eric Mangini. Rickert did not know what the meeting entailed nor the names of the players involved, but was certain that Mangini part of it.
Additionally, Mangini and owner Randy Lerner have spoken to Cribbs via the phone since Mangini's hiring last month.
Mangini, of course, has come under fire of late for seemingly having little to no contact with his new players. This news seemingly cuts the legs out from under the spate of recent attacks on the head coach.
Cribbs' Contract Saga Set to Begin
The OBR Top Stories
Fred on WTAM with WIlls and Synder, 10/25Fred was on Wills and Snyder this morning like most Tuesdays, and talked about the Browns MASH unit at quarterback, the possibility of trades, and more...
The OBRYesterday at 1:19 PM
Injuries in English: The Dreaded HamstringYou hear about it all the time, especially if you're a Browns fan: The dreaded hamstring injury. Brandon lets us know more about them, and why they can be such a nagging malady...
The OBRYesterday at 1:01 PM
QB position once again in fluxThe Browns once again go into the week not knowing who will be their starting quarterback
The OBRMonday at 11:06 AM
Hogan sets franchise record in his first gameKevin Hogan set a Browns record in his first NFL game.
The OBRSunday at 1:51 PM
Hue: "I don't like where we're at"Hue Jackson was as somber in his post game press conference as he's been this season after dropping to 0-7 against the Bengals.
The OBRSunday at 1:50 PM