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TEXT MESSAGES FORCED WINSLOW SETTLEMENT

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns rescinded the suspension of tight end Kellen Winslow after team officials received copies of text messages in which a public relations employees told Winslow not to publicly reveal that he was hospitalized for a staph infection.
The messages told Winslow that, if he revealed his condition, G.M. Phil Savage would get involved.
(Ooooooo.  A f–kin’ soldier, afraid of Opie Cunningham?)
Speaking of Opie, he ducked the question regarding whether he previously knew about the text messages.
“We have settled and are ready to move forward,” Savage told Cabot via text.  “In 3-plus years, the medical staff has always informed me of a player’s wishes in terms of maintaining confidentiality or releasing his records.”
Winslow had intended to make a public statement regarding his condition because he was weary of rumors regarding his condition, which included (as posted by Deadspin and elsewhere) rumors that he had an STD and/or that he overdosed on erection-enhancing medications.
Throughout the process, we continued to hear that he had swelling in the testicular area, but we don’t believe that the swelling is inconsistent with the notion that he had a staph infection.
As part of the settlement, Winslow will pay a $25,000 fine for the disparaging statements he made, but he avoided the potential loss of $1 million under his contract, which says that he’ll sacrifice that amount if he engages in conduct detrimental to the team.  He also will receive his game check of more than $235,000 for Sunday’s visit to Jacksonville, even though he won’t be playing.
Winslow also will not be prevented from making future public statements about his health or the safety or working conditions at the team’s facility.
Bottom line?  Winslow was right, the Browns were wrong, and at least the team was smart enough to back down before everything blew up at the arbitration hearing on Tuesday.

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17 Responses to “TEXT MESSAGES FORCED WINSLOW SETTLEMENT”
  1. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Oct 26, 2008 8:26 AM

    I’ve never been a Winslow fan, but I wish he would have nailed these assholes. He actually handled the whole thing reasonably professionally, and the idiots try to silence him with threats to cover their asses.
    Screw that. They had no chance of making the case that gentle cursing in the direction of a PR person deserves a suspension, unless they’re willing to state that no cursing ever occurs in that locker room. And Goodell shouldn’t have even let that be part of the suspension since they clearly added that after the fact when their case fell apart.
    The $25,000 is a way for the Clowns to save face, and he shouldn’t have given it to them. It was probably the mature thing for him to do, I will say, but to hell with that.

  2. jasar13 says: Oct 26, 2008 8:57 AM

    Carry on soldier.

  3. JimmySmith says: Oct 26, 2008 8:58 AM

    G.M. Phil Savage should be fired as soon as possible.

  4. jmclarkent says: Oct 26, 2008 9:00 AM

    At the end of the year, we will learn that Romeo’s decision to remain loyal to Derrick Anderson was due to the fact that he was recovering from a Staph infection in his throwing arm…

  5. RJMarrella says: Oct 26, 2008 9:23 AM

    dirty….

  6. mrmagoo says: Oct 26, 2008 9:35 AM

    Phil Savage must be 4 feet tall to generate the power trip he seems to be on.

  7. Kotite says: Oct 26, 2008 9:49 AM

    I believe the military term is AWOL.

  8. VonClausewitz says: Oct 26, 2008 9:54 AM

    I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The team was willing to use Winslow as a scapegoat. In fact they had planned on it knowing it was unjust. Only when the truth came out did they realize they were in a losing position and changed their spin. Winslow, regardless of any past issues that may have made him a convenient excuse, was right. There’s a clear need for organizational changes at the Browns or Winslow needs to walk. The organization has fallen down the slippery slope of failing to balance their interests against the interests of the players. If they had acted ethically these interests would have been aligned and there’d be no need to play the situation. That’s why it’s called ethics. Now they’ve gone and demonstrated publicly that they don’t understand the team concept nor have the moral character to get others to rally around their standard. And they wonder why the team has struggled. Someone needs to be fired. It needs to be visible and it needs to come from the top.

  9. thomase66 says: Oct 26, 2008 9:59 AM

    It took real balls for Winslow to speak out like he did.

  10. Burritto says: Oct 26, 2008 10:27 AM

    What awful management.
    If you were Phil Savage, what would you rather have to deal with: the continuance of the staph problem that everybody knows about, or a scandalous mess in which you come off looking like an insane dictator trying to implement state radio?

  11. Bud Grant says: Oct 26, 2008 10:37 AM

    Opie Cunningham? Don’t you mean Richie Taylor?

  12. bigblue59 says: Oct 26, 2008 10:48 AM

    Its Ohio the whole state is an infection
    The Browns and the Bengals are both infected with losing

  13. egypt123 says: Oct 26, 2008 10:59 AM

    Yeah, like Savage didn’t know anything about the text messages or Browns mgmt. telling Winslow to keep quiet PRIOR to his suspension. Dipwad!

  14. bennydawg says: Oct 26, 2008 11:26 AM

    Savage should be fired for stupidity, lerner should sell the browns to somebody who gives a damn. DA will never lead the browns to the playoffs let alone the super bowl. Let Quinn play so we can see if he can do the job if not trade him and get something out of him. just do something other than stand there on the sidelines like crennel does. like a giant bump on a log.

  15. chip says: Oct 26, 2008 11:46 AM

    “rumors regarding his condition, which included (as posted by Deadspin and elsewhere) ”
    lol…elsewhere?
    wonder who else would do such a thing…

  16. brauneyz says: Oct 26, 2008 11:56 AM

    I still don’t see why K2 has to pay anything to these morons. I’m not a lawsuit-happy kind of person, but it sure seems to me he ought to be paid for his suffering, not still fined. Color me confused.
    Oh yeah, Browns suck. Execute ‘em all and start over.

  17. DemonioAzul says: Oct 27, 2008 12:34 AM

    How is this not worse than anything a team has been accused of recently? Cheating’s bad, but even at its worst does it really compare to pressuring a player to cover up that he’s contracted an infectious, potentially life-threatening disease? Why isn’t the League (if not the CDC) all over this?
    This strikes me as outrageous. And more than a little creepy.

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