Brown Out?: Cribbs Says He Is Unlikely To Play Another Game for Cleveland

Bob Evans@@TheRealBobEvansCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2010

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 10: Joshua Cribbs #16 of the Cleveland Browns runs past the grasp of Brett Keisel #99 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 10, 2009 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 13-6. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Associated Press is reporting that Josh Cribbs has said he is unlikely to play another game with the Cleveland Browns. He came to this conclusion after being “insulted” by the Browns latest contract offer.

After claiming to be hurt by the offer, Cribbs headed to the Browns facility to clean out his locker, and stated that “he don’t want to play for nobody else”.

Josh Cribbs signed a six-year contract worth $6.77 million three years ago, leaving three seasons on his current deal. Cribbs’ frustration is understandable because players in the NFL generally have short “life-spans” in the terms of their careers. 

However, Cribbs did sign a six-year contract. This isn’t the NBA; he doesn’t have a player option. His only options are to show up for work, or to not show up for work. If he chooses to not exercise his right to show up for work, he will not be paid. If the Browns want to be the bad guys here, they could technically force him to sit out three years before his return to the NFL.

That said, the Browns need to do the right thing and pay Cribbs his worth in Browns gold. Josh epitomizes everything Cleveland. 

He signed as an undrafted free agent out of local Kent State University and has worked hard to transform his game from an athletic quarterback to one of the most dynamic players in the game of football today. He is not Devin Hester. He's better.  Hester was paid for being a kick returner. Shortly after, he transformed to a wide receiver and is attempting to stand out in the Bears' offense. 

Cribbs stands out when you look at the schedule. Teams have to create a separate game plan just to contain the guy. Whether it is angling kicks differently, spying Cribbs when he is in the game on offense, or double covering him when he is behind center; Josh Cribbs changes the way a team has to prepare during the week.

Another thing people have to realize about Josh Cribbs is that he has only one gear; go-hard. This guy hits holes with reckless abandon. He doesn’t care about his body, he plays hard for the team and fans that he loves. So why shouldn’t he feel betrayed about not being given a better contract for himself and his family?

With the injuries that can occur on any given play, it is not hard to understand that Cribbs is just looking out for his future. He plays the game harder than anyone else, whether it's on the kickoff or in the wildcat formation.

The front office knows this, the fans know this, and Cribbs definitely knows this. This is why he is asking for more money now.

However, one thing he fails to realize is that the Browns DON’T have to pay him. If they pay him, it is because they recognize his value to the team, the city, and to the organization as a whole. They will be showing the rest of the players on the team that they reward hard work, they don’t punish it.

It is sad to see the Josh Cribbs situation come to this. No. 16 in your program, but number one in all Browns’ fans hearts deserves a pay raise. He deserves the opportunity to provide for his family in case something bad happens. 

Cribbs means more to this organization than any other player on the roster. His actions inspire teammates to be better. This situation can either send a positive sign to Browns players, or can have a disastrous effect on the entire team.

The Browns have only one chance to get this situation right, even though they don’t have to.

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