Josh Cribbs and Cleveland Browns Increasingly Closer In Contract Talks

Samuel IngroAnalyst IJanuary 22, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 20:  Joshua Cribbs #16 and Robert Royal #84 of the Cleveland Browns celebrate after a play during their NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 20, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Browns defeated the Chiefs 41-34. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“It’ll be the same offer tomorrow, the same offer in March, and the same offer in September.”

Perhaps it's those words that sealed former Browns' Vice President of Football Administration Dawn Aponte's fate, after refusing to budge on fan favorite Josh Cribbs's contract.

Aponte's quote led Cribbs to storm out of the locker room, pack his things, and claim he'd never play another game in a Cleveland Browns uniform. Outrage was sparked in a disgruntled fan base after Josh's agents went to the media, with reports of a low-ball offer of $1.4 million a season.

All that now seemingly doesn't matter though, as Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert stepped in. After letting Aponte go, it's now being reported that talks are growing increasingly positive.

Holmgren has assured Cribbs that the $1.4 million dollar offer is nowhere near a final offer, as earlier reported, and that he truly wants him back in uniform next season.

"We've talked to Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert, and we have an understanding that we are going to work together on this. We have a much clearer indication that something can be worked out and that it is not just lip service," Cribbs's agent stated.

Sorry Pittsburgh and Miami, all of your wishful thinking and insane trade offer articles, appear to be in vain. Talks are growing increasingly closer, and reports are being mentioned of Cribbs appearing much more content.

Players closest in the mold of Cribbs are making in the ball park of $3 million to $5 million a season, while Cribbs is making a paltry $600,000 per year by NFL standards. Cribbs' agents put him more in the $2.4 million area, but it's expected he will receive higher than that when negotiations come to a close.

His current contract puts him in Cleveland through 2012 and is unknown if these negotiations will also give him an extension further into the future. It's no secret Josh loves being a Cleveland Brown and loves the city, so I would expect details of a long term contract in the near future.

His next appearance will be January 31 in the NFL Pro Bowl, and knowing how he plays, maybe there actually is a reason to tune in to the decreasingly popular event. He also recently made the AP All-Pro Team as the starting returner, and has been organizing efforts to helping out the victims in Haiti during the offseason.