Kellen Winslow Jr. Just Got Paid. A lot.


Will Kellen Winslow Jr. be remembered for having some of the best hands on the football field?  Or will he be for a premature end to a rookie season followed by a knee injury sustained thanks to a motorcycle accident, leading to multiple surgeries over the course of the last few seasons?

Either way, it may not matter to him as he is the recent recipient of a six-year, $36.1 million extension that makes him the highest-paid tight end in the history of the National Football League.

Of said deal, $20.1 million is guaranteed.  And if that is not enough, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be on the hook for a total of $42.1 million if Winslow reaches a few incentives that are a part of his new deal.

Moments after Winslow was shipped to Tampa Bay for a few draft selections, many fans were shocked and understandably upset.  A new coach and GM tandem come into town and start ripping a part a football team by trading one of the only players that seemed to actually want to be a part of the game, in this town.  But when the dust settled and emotions calmed, it was a move that was met with open arms by the same people that started throwing things the second the news hit the wire.

The Browns needed draft picks, and they got just that.  And not far behind on the hierarchy of needs, the team needed salary cap room; something that they would not have if they would have been strongarmed into paying Winslow more than he was currently making.  His agent, the infamous Drew Rosenhaus, made it clear that his client was going to get a raise.  Given his bout with injuries since being drafted, there has always been a “yea, but…” that has been tagged to the tight end; even during a Pro Bowl season of 82 catches for 1,100 yards.

The will, competitive edge, and talent level are all undoubtedly there.  But the Browns could ill afford to pay anyone long-term money if they did not trust that Winslow’s knees would be able to honor his end of the commitment.  The potential for Winslow to actually be the highest performing tight end – justifying this pay day – is undeniable.  But the likelihood of it actually happening?  Over a six-year period?

For a little bit of a comparison, the total salary that was paid to all of Cleveland’s tight ends (outside of K2) was $3.4 million.  Winslow made $5.6 million on his own, and will be paid considerably more than this going forward. 

With all of this said, if I were to set the over/under for games played within the next six years (the length of the deal) at 45, what side of the fence would you be on?

  • Denny

    Over. Esp with the potential for a longer season. He’s a soldier.

  • Scott

    Assume 16 games, kids.

  • Boomhauer

    Over, but most of those will be in the first 3 years of the deal.

  • A Bizzle

    Sadly, over.

    I know the guy’s a stiff, but over six years, he doesn’t have the potential to play less than three full seasons? However, that being said… how the Bucs justified making this guy the highest paid TE ever is beyond me.

    Drew Rosenhaus should get 40% commissions on that deal. Seriously. I hate him, but the man is a genius.

  • Swig

    Look at all the respect Winslow Jr just got!!!

    I think a better 0/U would be 60.

  • DCBucks

    Over. I have a feeling he’ll take less punishment playing for the Bucs than he did in Cleveland.

  • RockKing

    I think he can easily average 10 games per season for 6 years. I would take the over. But I can honestly say the under wouldn’t surprise me one bit either.

    Good for K2, though. Gald to see he’s happy and richer than ever now, and I still wish him nothing but the best.

  • DP

    I would take the over, but know full well that one ill-timed hit (after all, he told us he was a SOLDIER!!! after the UTennessee guys dove at his knees) on that leg could end it all at any time.

    As sad as I was to see him and his production go, if this was the price (much like the Cutler trade) I’m glad the Browns saw the headlights coming at them and got out of the way of the speeding car.

  • Marco

    Salary records are going to be falling like crazy. The cap has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years.

  • Scott

    I think 60 would be better as well, now that I see where the bets are falling.

    So, we now have O (-185) and U (-110) :)

  • Harv 21

    The over on the games, the under if we are counting effective blocks.

  • Craig

    Well, let’s revisit the press release that the Browns sent out after making that trade. They obviously knew what the salary demands were like. They got on the horn, made a trade proactively, and took the high ground by thanking K2 for his contributions.

    “The Cleveland Browns thank Kellen for his contributions to this organization over the past five years,” said Browns General Manager George Kokinis. “We appreciate his passion for the game and wish him success in Tampa Bay. The draft picks we have obtained through this deal will give us greater flexibility as we look to infuse more talent and create competition and depth on this football team.”

    Kokinis and Mangini may screw up lots of stuff and never amount to anything, but I think they got this one right. I thought it was right at the time even though it was painful. Now this contract is just the proof. Even if K2 does earn every dime of that, you would be a fool to bet that he can.

  • Craig

    @Harv 21 the over if we are talking about offensive pass interference calls…

  • dwhit

    @DP “I’m glad the Browns saw the headlights coming at them and got out of the way of the speeding car.”

    Um, in light of the Stallworth mess, maybe we should retire the vehicular manslaughter analogies for the time being.

  • Denny

    Gooooood point dwhit. We’ll stick with voodoo.

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