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This could be Josh Cribbs’ last season in Cleveland

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Time could be running out on the relationship between wide receiver Josh Cribbs and the Cleveland Browns.

That’s a theory being pushed by Jeff Schudel of the News-Herald in Northern Ohio. Cribbs is entering the final year of his contract and Schudel thinks he’d need to take a pay cut from the $1.438 million he’ll make this season in order to stick around with the team. There are two reasons driving this view.

Changes to the rules on kickoffs made Cribbs less than a weapon than he has been in past seasons. While he actually had better numbers on returns than he did in 2010, Cribbs got just 39 chances to return kickoffs. That’s the lowest total of his seven-year career and it’s not likely to change much with the rules still in effect this season.

Drafting Travis Benjamin could push Cribbs to fourth on the wide receiver depth chart, something that would limit his value to the Browns even more as they move forward. Cribbs has never developed into a consistent receiving threat for the Browns and he’ll be turning 30 before the 2013 season, which makes it unlikely that there’s a great leap forward coming on that front.

Cribbs provides the Browns with more than just kick returns. He’s a key part of their special teams coverage units and returned a punt for a touchdown last season, but the question will be whether or not the team and Cribbs put the same dollar value on his role beyond this season.

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33 Responses to “This could be Josh Cribbs’ last season in Cleveland”
  1. z71kris says: May 20, 2012 10:18 AM

    Make him a saftey, he is big and fast and can tackle, money earned…

  2. digitaldonnie says: May 20, 2012 10:22 AM

    Who cares? Cribbs is a Clevelander through and through. He may not be the WR they need, but he has value to the city. 1.5 mil is nothing. Pay him that till he retires a Brown and the fans will be happy.

  3. jtk1985 says: May 20, 2012 10:39 AM

    As a Browns fan I hope it’s his last. He is a ST player pushing 30 that isn’t great at anything anymore and can’t stay healthy.

  4. steelmeats says: May 20, 2012 10:53 AM

    As a steelers fan, please get him out the AFC north

  5. deathtoromo says: May 20, 2012 11:18 AM

    Let’s hope so for Josh’s sake. Holmgren destroying that team just like he did to Seattle.

  6. pavelfitzgerald says: May 20, 2012 11:32 AM

    He’s making $1.48m a year which is nothing (in NFL terms,I’d be happy to make that). His cap hit is more then managable considering he plays special team, is a home run returner & he provides depth at wideout

  7. mactimo says: May 20, 2012 11:33 AM

    Maybe if they cut that worthless stiff seneca whos making 2+ million they could pay cribbs! Cribbs is more valuable than a terrible career backup who puts himself ahead of the team!

  8. latchbeam says: May 20, 2012 11:45 AM

    He is a return man/special team player (and pretty fragile the last two years!) due to make more than 1.5… I bet he will hold out and then be out of the league. The kick off rule destroyed his career!

  9. elmaxoh says: May 20, 2012 11:57 AM

    Give him a chance … and a QB too …

  10. seahawks55 says: May 20, 2012 11:57 AM

    @deathtoromo

    Holmgren led us to our only Super Bowl ever (Never forget SB XL) and took us to the playoffs 5 straight years. He was outstanding and a lot of Seahawks fans were very unhappy when he wasn’t given his current position by Seattle. I’m not sure what’s going on with him now, but for a long time he was a dominant Coach and GM.

  11. sports_dude says: May 20, 2012 12:30 PM

    I love how Cleveland fans are now blaming Mike Holmgren for sucking. Wake up, this is nothing new for you.

  12. Sandra Lee's Cans says: May 20, 2012 12:38 PM

    The new kickoff rules ruined his real value in the NFL. He’s average in every other aspect. Thirty year old special teamers are a dime a dozen and don’t command 7-figure salaries.

    A combination of age, lack of true role and attitude have made him overpriced and expendable. Time to move on.

  13. rowdymon says: May 20, 2012 1:02 PM

    They should trade him and get value now. He won’t take a pay cut and some other NFL team will pay him what he wants next year. I think Cribbs is a great player, but the NFL is a business and you must get value out of him. Especially if he will walk after the year anyway.

  14. pmars64 says: May 20, 2012 1:24 PM

    I read a couple of years ago that the Browns front office couldn’t stand Cribbs. The word was that he was a major pain in the arse. But, who knows if that was just leaked spin? Cribbs has been the best thing the last several seasons for an otherwise absolute joke of a franchise. Regardless if he was a pain, he played his arse off for teams going nowhere. I’d hate to see him go.

  15. coop16 says: May 20, 2012 1:29 PM

    I love Cribbs, and you’ve got to respect a guy who had a successful NFL career despite the fact that he was bypassed in the draft. But it’s true that his value going forward is pretty limited. The new kickoff rule makes him less valuable; his age makes him less valuable; injuries have made him less valuable. He’s had a great run, and he deserves to be acknowledged and saluted for it. But you can’t give a guy a spot on the roster and a big chunk of your salary cap unless he’s really worth it, and sad to say, I don’t think Cribbs is worth it any more.

  16. jeziyo247 says: May 20, 2012 1:32 PM

    Hey cribbs, if things doesn’t work out in Cleavland, come to the afc west in mile high where you can resurrect your career catching from manning

  17. rajbais says: May 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    BTW, he has played safety before. Not kiddng! There is record of it!

    He needs to go to a team where he can be a runner, a running QB, return specialist, and a safety (however most of these positions are meant for him to play them in emergency situations)!!!

    I do feel bad for him because the Jets claimed that they miss Brad Smith; Cribbs is the closest thing to any replacement for Smith!!! Tebow as a replacement for Smith?????

  18. dawgtown86 says: May 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    I second the motion to get rid of Seneca the overpaid, self-serving, third string QB. Cribbs is a leader on the team who plays with reckless abandon wherever he’s put, whatever he’s asked to do. Name one other weapon on the Browns the past few years that other teams have had to game plan for (besides the glorious, albeit short stampede of the albino rhino). Give the overachiever the underachiever’s salary.

    BTW sports_dude, we don’t know if deathtoromo is an actual Browns fan but we do know he slams Mike Holmgren every chance he gets.

  19. joemammy says: May 20, 2012 1:57 PM

    The only people who want Cribbs to leave Cleveland are Steelers fans. Suck it, yinzers…he’s staying!

  20. berniekosarisgod19 says: May 20, 2012 2:34 PM

    Josh Cribbs is beyond a fan favorite here in C-Town, he embodies what the city and what being a Brown is all about. Hard working, understated, always bringing his hard hat to work, the guy is a football player, bottom line, and the Browns need football players. He will be back, and I’ll wear my Cribbs shirt with pride. Not to mention he basically single handily beat the Steelers on that Thursday Night Game. Here We Go Brownies, Here We Go, Woof Woof!!!!

  21. deathtoromo says: May 20, 2012 4:05 PM

    Holmgren led us to our only Super Bowl ever (Never forget SB XL) and took us to the playoffs 5 straight years. He was outstanding and a lot of Seahawks fans were very unhappy when he wasn’t given his current position by Seattle. I’m not sure what’s going on with him now, but for a long time he was a dominant Coach and GM.
    ——————————————————

    Holmgren was an excellent coach and terrible GM. The reason he left Seattle is ownership wanted him to relinquish the GM part of his job and being the ego-maniac he is, he simply quit.

  22. CKL says: May 20, 2012 5:45 PM

    It’s always nice to see athletes really embrace the cities they play in. Cribbs and Joe Haden are that type of athlete for the Browns.

  23. genericcommenter says: May 20, 2012 7:00 PM

    The most they could cut his salary is not even a savings of $600,000. His pay seems reasonable to me.

  24. jthammerstix says: May 20, 2012 7:38 PM

    I commented “oh crap” and you censored it?!? Eat a 8==D.

  25. mrfrostyj says: May 20, 2012 7:46 PM

    “Jeff Schudel of the News-Hearald” isn’t taking into effect that Josh Cribbs is the top DEFENSIVE player on special teams and has been one of the better running backs on the team when used in that capacity. Every issue he brought up is more because of Schurmurs ineffective play calling and not because of Cribbs himself. I don’t see the Browns asking for him to take a pay cut considering their roster isn’t overflowing with pro bowlers right now. As a matter of fact the only one playing for their job right now offensively is probably Muhamed Massaquoi. If the Browns receivers struggle he’s the odd man out.

  26. brownsbacker44 says: May 20, 2012 8:09 PM

    Cribbs is a stand up player and when healthy plays hard core all the time. Pay the man and let him retire a Brown some day.

  27. sean222 says: May 21, 2012 8:53 AM

    I am by no means an NFL coach, but from what I have seen the last few years, Cribbs is a situational player. They have thrown him in the 1,2,and 3 WR positions. He has played QB and wild cat. The west coast offense has room for a player of his spread and open field skill. The H back position would be a great fit for him. They can move Little to the 2 and Massaquoi to the 1 and use Cribbs for the outlet opposite Richardson, have him block, and allow him some open field movement.

    If he can show his value here with the return game and pursuit tackling, a contract extent ion should come by week 4 and they can double his salary based on doubling his value which s
    Would still be cheap at more then 3 million a year. Good luck Joshua Cribbs, make it happen.

  28. brownyelf says: May 21, 2012 11:35 AM

    It is what it is. Don’t get me wrong i’d love to see him retire a Brown because he truly loves this city and is always all over it. BUT, he is not the game changer he was 5 years ago. Hopefully they keep him around, but I get it if they don’t.

  29. NoobTubeTV says: May 21, 2012 1:22 PM

    He is a class act and an icon in Cleveland. He has been more than willing to have a role in any way… including defense. Treat him right H&H or risk losing Browns fans in even bigger numbers.

  30. brownsbacker44 says: May 21, 2012 6:20 PM

    I understand what your saying Brownyelf but I think he hasn’t been a game changer because of his surrounding cast and the way he’s been used. Every spot they have put him in recently has been sooo predictable. I guess all we can do is wait and see what the season brings. BO BROWNS!

  31. RemDawg says: May 21, 2012 10:30 PM

    Cribbs is worth more than 1.4 million because he can provide veteran leadership, depth at WR(what Browns receiver is better ? MoMass? Norwood? Mitchell? Little perhaps may become better this year) and special teams play. I agree get rid of Seneca Wallace. He is worthless.

  32. brownsapologist says: May 22, 2012 5:15 AM

    He’s still a threat every time he touches the ball. He is what is called a “play maker.” It’s a term that hasn’t been thrown around much in Cleveland the last 20 years. So now that we understand that we have one, let’s make sure we pay him to do whatever he can until his legs fall off. He not only has the ability to return a kick at any time, he’s usually the first one down the field and making plays while covering kicks. He hardly ever fumbles. He’s useful in trick plays. He’s a serviceable WR. He plays hard. He doesn’t bitch about playing in Cleveland. There is no one on the team that can do what he does as well as he does it. The steelers, ravens, and bengals all wish he would go away. He doesn’t pray on one knee after every play. He doesn’t text pictures of his junk to others. He doesn’t have 19 kids with 13 different women. He doesn’t break windshields with his face or rape women in bathroom stalls. He doesn’t murder people in front of night clubs or make it rain in strip clubs. He is by all accounts and definitions: a good player. Now continue to pay him until he isn’t.

  33. jbmartindale says: May 23, 2012 10:30 PM

    @deathtoromo

    Holmgren gave up GM duties in 2002 then coached another 5 years there, finishing out his contract. He didn’t quit.

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