Browns fans hoping to see Jamir Miller help revive the team's dormant pass rush in 2003 are likely to be disappointed.
Jeff Schudel and Pat McManamon reported in seperate stories this morning that the Cleveland Browns have allowed Jamir Miller's new agent, Leigh Steinberg, to renegotiate his contract in such a way as to create an unrealistic roster bonus of $14 million, to go along with Miller's $4 million salary.
The machinations involving Miller's old agent, David Dunn, who used to work with his new agent, Leigh Steinberg, but was sued by his new agent, while Miller testified for his old agent, are far too complicated to explain or concern people who live in the real world. Suffice it to say that it's complicated.
What is uncomplicated is the decision that the Browns now need to make.
The team needs to cough up nearly $14 million to Miller by March 1st, and take the corresponding salary cap hit of $18 million this season, or release the 2001 Pro Bowl linebacker. With the salary cap likely to wind up around $74 million, such an expense would be impossible to accept.
The Browns wouldn't pay a linebacker $18 million for a single year even if he played like Ray Lewis while maintaining a social life as uneventful as that of the average Internet webmaster.
For the same cap hit, the Browns could have three "Tim Couch"s, or three "Courtney Brown"s. The team could have eight "Robert Griffith"s, 80 special teams players making the rookie minimum, or, using the earlier analogy, 7,206 Internet webmasters complete with coffee cups and a frequent need to visit Monster.com.
While the notion of the Browns paying Miller the newly negotiated roster bonus borders on ridiculous, less absurd is asking why the team allowed such a contract to be negotiated in the first place. With the likely result that Miller will be released and sign with another team, a motive remains difficult to ascertain.
Pronouncements from Butch Davis have indicated a wide gap in Miller's belief in his own value and that percieved by his head coach. That gap likely is too wide to be closed prior to March 1, so the team may be hoping that Miller will be more agreeable to an incentive-based contract after finding an unfriendly free agent market.
In all liklihood, however, Browns fans have seen the last of Miller in a Browns uniform.
With the number of twists and turns the Miller story has taken since 2001, however, no outcome can be counted out.