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Statement From Josh Cribbs

[Editor’s note:  The following statement from Browns receiver Josh Cribbs was sent to us Wednesday night by Cribbs’ agents.] 
I humbly and respectfully come to Browns’ fans and the Browns letting all know that I have given my all to this team, on and off the field for 4 complete years selflessly without regard to myself and my own family.  I have sat by while good players came and went, either due to contracts or injury.  I have witnessed a lot of families uprooted from their stable homes and forced to move wherever the money came in from.  I realize that this is not a fair sport for the players, it is a business and we are products.
Contracts are one-sided in favor of the team, yet we as players are told to honor our contracts without the team honoring them.  We are not doctors and lawyers, we don’t get paid for 25 years of work.  If we are lucky, we get 10 years at best to make all the money we can to last the rest of our life.  We sacrifice our bodies and our health to make our owners wealthy.  I am not asking for nothing that I have not already earned and will continue to earn.  This is not personal, but I have to be a man and take care of my family for not just a year or two, but for as long as I am walking this earth.
I have always given the Browns’ team and its fans respect and my loyalty.  I have stepped into many different roles for the betterment of my team and have brought honor to Cleveland, in the way that I play on the field, and serve in the community. 
I have been blessed with this opportunity to be somebody and ask that I be treated and compensated on the level of my peers, fairly, according to my work completed, and on the promise that my future will brightly upheld in a manner gracious of this team and its fans. 
I want nothing more but to wear the Browns’ logo on my chest until my career has come to an end, and I am deeply disappointed that the team I put my hard work, blood, sweat and tears in will just write me off as though I am collateral damage.  I maintain that this is not personal to Coach Mangini, Mr. Kokinis, or
Mr. Lerner, for this is a situation that I could not keep in any longer.”

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16 Responses to “Statement From Josh Cribbs”
  1. browns_4_life says: May 21, 2009 8:45 AM

    Somewhere in a dark corner at Browns headquarters Eric Mangini is pondering how many Jets players he can acquire for Josh Cribbs.

  2. __McB__ says: May 21, 2009 9:23 AM

    This really pisses me off. I’ve lost all respect for Josh. What a F’n baby. Poor baby, only gets to make multi-millions per year for ~10 years. Boo hoo! To even try and take this argument to the people of one of the worst economically hit cities in America takes come real balls. Hey Josh, go down to the unemployment offfice and then come back and cry about your meager million dollar salary. You make me sick!

  3. BernieIsDrunkAgain says: May 21, 2009 10:05 AM

    Let me preface this by saying that I am a Josh Cribb’s fan and I do think they should rework his contract. That being said, I have a major issue with the following statement;
    “If we are lucky, we get 10 years at best to make all the money we can to last the rest of our life…I have to be a man and take care of my family for not just a year or two, but for as long as I am walking this earth.”
    No, Josh. Believe it or not, you are allowed to keep working after your NFL career ends. You are one of the fortunate few who have made it into the highest paying professional football league in the world and are currently making more money in 1-year then the average Joe will make in 15-years. The NFL does not have a responsibility to take care of your family, you do. If you foresee yourself living beyond your means at $650,000 year in the near future, then maybe it’s time to make a few cuts in the budget. It is not the NFL’s job to make sure you or your family don’t have to lift a finger once your playing days are over. Nobody forced you to sign your contract (that I’m sure you were more than happy to sign, at the time). Maybe the contract doesn’t seem so fair now, but life isn’t fair, Josh, and if anything, its been quite reasonable with you.

  4. henryk says: May 21, 2009 11:28 AM

    Bernie… Makes several good points. That being said, I can’t think of a player in the entire Browns v2 era that better represents what we as die hard Browns fans want in a player.
    There been so many players on this team (hell on all teams) that get huge salaries that never play up to them. Here is a guy that prepares hard, plays hard and puts everything he has out on the field.
    Yes, he’ll make more money than most of us can dream of, but I keep thinking if it was Dan Rooney who’s player had been told he would be taken care of, this situation would not exist. As much as I hate the Steelers, they have always been honorable in their dealings.

  5. Pea Tear Griffin says: May 21, 2009 11:55 AM

    Never has so much been made of a player who has done so little…

  6. henryk says: May 21, 2009 12:27 PM

    I don’t get that comment. How many players have done more? How many players have the fans on their feet the minute he touches the ball?

  7. mcchater says: May 21, 2009 1:22 PM

    He deserves it. Hardest worker on the team. Im in Cribbs corner on this one.

  8. shaunypoo says: May 22, 2009 6:54 AM

    “Contracts are one-sided in favor of the team, yet we as players are told to honor our contracts without the team honoring them. ”
    These are the kind of statements that make me wonder. If that is the problem, the next CBA is coming up, take it up with the union, not the fans, they can’t do anything. They always seem to forget that they get a signing bonus. Then, they complain they are underpaid if they have a good year or two, but very few ever give money back if they flame out after getting a fat new contract. And Bernie said it best, they are allowed to go out and get a job after their career is over, right? Didn’t these guys go to college? Even if you didn’t finish it, go back in the summer and get a degree, you have the free time. I had to bust my hump to go to and pay for college, like alot of other hard working people do, and you complain about getting paid to play a kids game. I would respect him more if he kept it behind closed doors. Taking things public is benificial to no one.

  9. jaguy19 says: May 22, 2009 9:16 AM

    Based on the current pay system in the NFL, yes Cribbs is worth more than he is being paid. However for every story like Cribbs’s, there are at least 10 stories with that are exactly reversed. Starting with all players that have been drafted in the top 5 over the last few years. I LOVE Joe Thomas and all, but his salary cap hit was nearly 10 million dollars last year. That’s 1/12th of our salary cap. Call it frugal or smart, either way you need signings like Cribbs’s to field a solid football team.
    And I couldn’t disagree more with the comment “Contracts are one-sided in favor of the team, yet we as players are told to honor our contracts without the team honoring them. ” REALLY? How many teams every year cut players and end up eating the guaranteed money because they are no longer worth the money? My guesstimate would be that between all 32 teams, 100 million dollars every year go to paying off cut players guaranteed money. But don’t feel bad for the owners, they’ll just increase the ticket prices.
    Long story short, someone needs to start taking a stance on this crap. We all know the truth behind the Rogers/Mangini fiasco, he saw Hainsworth about to cash in royally and wanted to get a similar deal. Set a precedence that this won’t be tolerated. If you don’t like it…holdout and get nothing.

  10. PITTSPUKE SUCKS says: May 22, 2009 1:48 PM

    Memo to Josh Cribbs…
    How would you like to be an average slub like me paying 85 bucks per game to watch a bunch of spoiled athletes? In relative money terms, that would be 850 bucks to you.
    And my “career” is in year 35 as of right now. No “10 years and out” for me.
    I will work for 10 more years and MAYBE, cumulatively over my lifetime, make one third of your 6 million dollar contract. And I feel blessed to be so justly compensated.
    Give us all a break. You would have been better off just asking for a renegotiation and not trying to justify the greed. It makes you look completely out of touch with the average guy, that you actually profess yourself to be at heart.
    And when you do get the money (I am sure you will) hire a publicist, because the above statement did nothing to support your case for a redo.
    Have fun spending your millions…

  11. urbusted says: May 24, 2009 10:42 AM

    Open Letter to Josh Cribbs:
    As in other comments I have made regarding Josh, let me begin by saying as a fan just how much I enjoy his game and respect his work ethic. Having said all of that, I would ask Josh to look at the economic climate and the reality of many American families today. Josh, you have already made more money than many Americans make in a life time. Families have lost their homes and been torn apart by this economy through no fault of their own. I have no problem with you wanting to get more for you and your family since that is still normal in our society. I would hope you understand today’s climate and temper your media campaign for fan sympathy and return to the more traditional methods of contract negotiations! It has come to the point where the welfare of our neighbors must rise above our passion for sports. Simply put, I would rather see someone get their home or job back than see you earn another dollar more for playing football, causing ticket prices to go up for many people that can’t afford them to begin with. Thanks for listening. Go Browns.

  12. Spike42 says: May 25, 2009 12:16 PM

    Message to Athletes……ask for a contract re-nogotiation when you actually impact the game and make a team better. Last I checked, the Browns are still the Browns. Josh my boy……you ain’t even Joe Cribbs yet.

  13. henryk says: May 26, 2009 3:33 PM

    I wonder how many people that suggest Cribbs not go for more money because of the economy would give up their potential earnings for the same reason.

  14. shaunypoo says: May 27, 2009 9:18 AM

    henryk says:
    May 26th, 2009 at 3:33 pm
    I wonder how many people that suggest Cribbs not go for more money because of the economy would give up their potential earnings for the same reason.”
    I wont ask him to do that when he has to live paycheck to paycheck, pay a mortgage, find a way to get to work, and still try to save for the kids to hopefully go to college.

  15. sand0789 says: May 27, 2009 2:13 PM

    This letter makes me sick. Sure, he was respectful the way he presents his argument. But how can he make a statement like
    “I realize that this is not a fair sport for the players, it is a business and we are products.”
    No you jerk, you are an employee just like most every other American. You work for some billionaire or some conglomeration of other billionaires and millionaires just like most of us here in America.
    You make buttloads of money not because of the wear and tear on your body you psychopath. You make buttloads because very few people on earth can do what you do at that high of a level. You didn’t have to work any harder to get where you are than most successful (non millionaire) americans work. You just happen to have been blessed with great physical gifts and therefore deserve what you earn.
    NFL players have a union and negotiate for as high of pay as possible. It is a business. It doesn’t care for you the individual. Sorry you weren’t fortunate enough to make as much as other guys or as much as your billionaire boss. Your situation is not special.
    And wtf is this stuff about you can’t ever work another day in your life after the NFL? You can’t get a normal job when this is over? Or is your 3 million a year lifestyle the only thing good enough for you. Well, if you absolutely mustn’t ever work again when this job is over then stow away some of your millions you douchebag.
    Nobody cares about your situation. You are a good guy and was super lucky but not quite as super lucky as some of your collegues. The contracts are as fair as you are able to negotiate them to be just like every other freaking American.
    No you aren’t doctors or lawyers. You didn’t work half as hard as those guys to get where you are and will make more in 10 years than the average doctor or lawyer makes in 25 years. My goodness these NFL players have no idea what the world is like or how priveledged they are. It is okay for a guy to say “The Browns didn’t treat me as good as other players are treated by other teams”. His bit about the Steelers is fine for him to say. But he can’t go out comparing himself to doctors and lawyers and roofers and normal people that work lower paying, boring jobs to make not near as much money. That is insulting.
    The fans pay you because what you do is fun to watch. You play because you love playing and get paid a lot to do it. You try to get the best contract you can and sometimes aren’t satisfied. But you are lucky and it is as fair as anything else in this world. Be happy. Rip on the Browns ownership for personal revenge but don’t think we’ll feel sorry for you.

  16. dbec78 says: May 31, 2009 11:52 AM

    It is extremely funny to me to read the close minded and short sighted views that so quickly pop up anytime an athlete speaks up about money. Most of us have an inability to step outside of or own lives of economic struggle to understand what it is we comment about.
    It frustrates me to see comments that these athletes are just lucky to have the chance they have…. That they got here based on God given talent. Maybe 1 out of 100 professional athletes get to where they are based on talent alone. They work hard everyday of their life beginning as small children to hone the talent they are born with. They set a clear goal in their lives to achieve something great and did everything they could to meet it. Most of us haven’t put 1/4 the focus, effort, or commtiment towards anything in our lives. What motivates them to dedicate their lives to this??? MONEY!!
    Sure there is a “love of the game” factor as well, but then why wouldn’t they just settle for what the rest of do and play in local bar leagues or pick-up games. Nope, it’s the money. Most importantly, this is exactly what we as fans want and need to continue our love for the sport. This drive and will to achieve and make themselves and their family wealthy beyond their dreams is what produces the moments we watch for. We will continue to hope to see someone or something we have never seen before every time we watch. That is the magic behind sports – it brings us hope, excitement, joy, and more within the moment, no matter the economy or international relations. It allows us to forget about everything else for a few moments every now and again. The money we spend to have these moments is well worth it and the drive of the athletes we watch to make a piece of that money is what makes it all possible.

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