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A New Deal: Joshua Cribbs Deserves It

From the day he was introduced as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Eric Mangini has preached hard work, personal responsibility and versatility. He and his new regime have been consistently focused on bringing an atmosphere of professionalism and accountability to the team which is a breath of fresh air when looking back on past Browns staffs.

The offseason has proved to fans that Mangini is going to practice what he preaches. His first draft was filled with players who fit this mold. Alex Mack, David Veikune and Brian Robiskie are all known for their football smarts as well as being people of strong character. He made deals to bring in Abram Elam and Eric Barton who are leaders on the field and in the community. Quickly he has molded this team in his image.

That being said, the fact that Joshua Cribbs has not been given a new contract is ludicrous. From the moment he came to Cleveland after his time at Kent State he has committed himself to the team and worked hard to become a contributor. His success on special teams over the last few years was one of the few bright lights on a dismal Browns team. He was rewarded for that, with a contract that runs through 2012, but his stock keeps rising.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer recently reported that Cribbs’ talent “justifies a new contract” after proving to the team that on offense he might be good enough to win the No. 2 receiver job opposite Braylon Edwards. There is also talk of him playing in the secondary while Brodney Pool recovers from preseason injury. These are all signs that Cribbs may not be a one trick pony anymore.

Although the Browns can’t renegotiate deals with every player based on their performance over the course of a single season, this is a unique case that requires a deeper look. If the Mangini era is going to be a successful one, than making sure the players you need to succeed are in house is a must. Joshua Cribbs is one of those players. If Mangini truly covets football smarts, and versatility is something he desires in his players, than he’s found his man.

Most fans don’t mind if a player is paid fair market value. Especially if that player is as electrifying as Cribbs. Sure, the fans in Cleveland have been burned in the past. Too much money has gone out the door to players like Gary Baxter, Dontev Stallworth and others who haven’t earned it. But, if you are going to gamble, it’s best to do it on a sure thing.

If the Mangini regime thinks that Cribbs can contribute beyond the role he has on Special Teams than redoing the contract makes sense. This team needs players like Joshua Cribbs. He is in a class by himself. It would be money well spent and an investment sure to pay out in the end. He will put fans in the stands and points on the board. Who knows? If he plays defense, he might even prevent some points from getting on the board. Another thing Mangini is hopefully preaching.

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5 Responses to “A New Deal: Joshua Cribbs Deserves It”

  1. Clayton says:

    So, every time a player’s “stock keeps rising”, he gets a new contract? With respect, that is a recipe for disaster. Cribbs has shown great performance this off-season, and notwithstanding his offensive statement through his agent a while back which slammed the whole organization, he indeed does deserve recognition. But not through a new contract. A bonus or something, OK.

  2. BorisBulldog says:

    Cribbs will get a new deal soon!

    Tucker was released and with the salary freed up from Stallworth, there is more then enough room to get Cribbs a new deal better then his $650K salary this year.

    Plus with his added role as #2 WR, the team can justify that it is doing an extension because of Cribbs added value to the offense and not because Cribbs was crying for a new contract!

  3. Saemus says:

    Well-written article with the exception of typo or two. Cribbs is the epitome of the type of player this team–and this city–needs. He is a superstar talent who never hits a slump, and if the Browns don’t do something, the message they’ll send is that they’re not committed to winning!

  4. wolfey says:

    whatever happened to honoring the contract one signs? why do we think all of these athletes should get new contracts if they play better? what about reducing some money in a contract when a player has a bad year?

    don’t give me that crap about a long term contract gets outdated as a player’s performance improves. signing a multi-year contract is not only a risk (for both sides) but also a safety net (for both sides)… what id Cribbs had a season-ending injury? should he give back the money because he cannot live up to his side of the bargain?!? Absolutely not….and neither should the Browns (or any sports team) be forced to renegotiate a contract when a player outperforms expectations. .


  5. ButchGavlen says:

    As I said before: So what you do is call him in and talk to him; give him your word; tell him how it’s gonna be in a while, and make it up to him at the right time.(bonus or extention) You DO NOT open new contract talks now unless you want to open the biggest can of worms you’ve ever seen contract wise. You’ll have them lining up, holding out, and crying like a bunch of babies. You will create so much disention amongst the growing group of players whose agents convince them they are under paid and overlooked; do you think the agents care one bit about the game, the fans or the team?

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