Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Whine-fest or A Needed Payday

I haven't written about my beloved Browns this season because there has not been much to say.  They ended their season 5-11 after a 1-11 start.  I am excited to see next year.  I am excited to see what Mike Holmgren will bring to my Browns.  I am going to be excited if we can keep the players that make a difference.  I am going to be excited if we don't get blown out right out of the gate.

Well for those who don't know, Mike Holmgren was the football genious behind the resurgence of the Packers and also the Seattle Seahawks.  Mike Holmgren is now the president of The Cleveland Browns.  He said he is going to have a meeting with Eric Mangini [coach] and also has reached out to Josh Cribbs [the most under valued player in the NFL].

Josh Cribbs is coming off a terrific season personally.  He holds the record for most punt returns for touchdowns, he is The Cleveland Browns MVP, and he is what I would call the classiest person in football.  He doesn't whine.  He doesn't bitch and moan.  He goes out, puts his heart into the game, and goes back to the locker room and is quiet.  Yes, he was not happy about his contract.  Yes, he may have held out at the beginning of the season.  Yes, he needs to get paid more. 

Yesterday The Browns made him an offer.  To give you perspective, he is currently under contract.  Originally it was a 6 year deal valued at $6.77 million.  So that is about $1.13 million a year.  He has 3 years left on his deal.  Obviously the fans want to give Josh what he wants.  A pay increase.  He deserves it. We won 5 of our games on the legs of Josh Cribbs.  He deserves more.  So the offer yesterday was, $1.4 a year for the rest of his contract and we can talk about it in 3 years.  Josh rejected the offer and then tweeted about it.  Saying it was a slap in the face.  Looks like he isn't coming back next year.  Sorry to the fans that they have to go through this.

This is a frustrated Josh Cribbs.  It shows.  There is no secret there.  But this has me in a precarious bind.  So I stand behind the player or the organization?  I am not a fan of the owner Randy Lerner, but he has begun to warm me over with a football genius in Mike Holmgren.  I have always been a fan of Josh Cribbs when I watched him run back multiple kick off's for touchdowns but they were called back because of a stupid holding penalty.  So what do I do?  Why not play both sides?

On behalf of the organization, we don't know how much room they have to offer Josh Cribbs a proper raise.  Mike Holmgren is playing GM and president.  He is walking into a crappy situation started with Phil Savage, enhanced by Kokinas, and now it seems to reach a head on his desk.  Mike has been in town 2 days.  He's already trying to deal.  He went to Cribbs first.  Get Cribbs a deal was his goal.  But the long and short of it is, Josh is under contract for 3 more years.  He is giving him a short term deal in order to take a step back and breathe. 

On behalf of Josh Cribbs, he is a players player.  He goes out and plays the game.  He came in as an undrafted player from Kent State, a school not known for it's football program.  He was a QB and was converted to a WR and special teams player because he was fast.  He deserves every penny he gets because he plays.  He helps the team win.  He is the reason we won 5 games this year.

So what is there to do?  Any other year I would side completely with Josh Cribbs, although that is not my history.  This guy needs a payday.  But this time, in a time of financial hardship all around, and my family's struggle to keep the bill wolves away, I don't agree with Josh Cribbs?  He got a 20% pay increase and he is rejecting it.  I say take it.  I would take a 20% pay increase any day!  Josh is living in a city who sees recessions first and gets out of them last.  The people that fill that stadium to watch him play probably couldn't afford the $40.00 ticket [Cleveland has one of the lowest ticket prices in the league].  They want him to do well.  To reject a 20% pay increase in a city that isn't getting one is pretty shitty move.  Seems like a baby move.  We can't expect him to be patient forever, but I think 20% is fair right now.  Who knows what will happen?

I am sure this situation will continue to play out.  If you want to follow Josh Cribbs on twitter, you can, just click here.  What do you think?


Vodka Logic said...

Sorry I got nothing. :)

Ninja in a Mazda said...

I was wondering if you were ever going to go Browns with this blog, although I've only been following for a few weeks.

Cribbs should be the highest paid non-quarterback offensive skill player on the Browns roster. Period. He is a threat EVERY time he touches the ball, dynamic covering punts and kicks, and the definition of a pro.

20% raise or not, Cleveland needs to pay him as more than a special teamer, because he clearly is more. To me, he is the heart of that team.

I liked that Holmgren went to him first, but they low balled him. He has played his heart out, and they have ridden him to those five wins this year.

If Holmgren wants to start rebuilding this organization, there is no better player from a character standpoint, to start with than Joshua Cribbs.

Anonymous said...