July 30, 2014

I’m not cheering the Greg Little release, but it’s no big deal

Little2

And so the Greg Little era in Cleveland has come to a close. It’s not a day worth celebrating, that’s for sure. It’s never a good day when your team gives up on a second-round draft pick who was still playing under his rookie contract. It’s never a good day when your team is cutting a player under the age of 25 who has good size and passes the eye test as an athlete. Then again, all said and done, if you are a fan of a team and have any aspirations for that team to be successful, you might not want to get all caught up emotionally over a move like the Browns cutting Little. In the end, it’s just not that big of a deal.

[Read more...]

NFL News: Josh Cribbs cut by Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have reportedly cut former Browns return man Josh Cribbs according to Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune.

Cribbs signed with the Raiders this past off season after he and new Browns management could not come to terms on a new deal. The former all-pro claimed he would have taken a small pay cut to re-sign with the team who gave him his shot in the NFL, but criticized the new regime in Berea, stating he was “not confident in upper management“.

In 2012 Cribbs was chosen by the fans for his third pro bowl, following a season where he ranked in the top ten in the NFL in both yards per kick and punt return. The deal Cribbs signed back in 2010 paid him around $7 million in guaranteed money and was worth up to $40 million in incentives. Conversely, the deal he inked with Oakland this past off-season paid him $225,000 before being cut, leaving the remainder of the $1.25 million unearned.

Cribbs joins Mo Massaquoi as another former Browns’ receiver cut this past week. Massaquoi was then picked up by the Jets and is rumored to be preferred over Braylon Edwards.

[Related: Cleveland Browns on the bubble]

 

Josh Cribbs: LeBron James should return to Cleveland

I think LeBron James should go back to Cleveland and all will be forgiven in the universe.

– Former Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl return man/wide receiver Josh Cribbs in a list-based column for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback. Cribbs also addresses chivalry, turning your cell phone off on airplanes and boner pills, in no particular order.

[Related: Training Camp News and Notes: Weeden struggles with consistency]

NFL News: Josh Cribbs signs with Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have agreed to terms with Josh Cribbs, formerly of the Cleveland Browns Browns.

On Tuesday, New York Jets general manager John Idzik said that Cribbs’ knee was still not fully healed coming off meniscus surgery, but the Raiders have apparently decided they would sign the NFL record-holding return specialist regardless of perceived issues.

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to prove myself yet again,” Cribbs tweeted. “Fresh start, new team, new chip on my shoulder!!! Love [you] Cleveland but now it’s #catalinawinemixer.”

Cribbs, 30, will play his first season in the NFL for a team not named the Browns. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and  became one of the league’s best return men. He has been to three Pro Bowls and was named to two All-Pro teams during his tenure in Cleveland. Just last week, it was rumored that Cribbs could potentially return to Cleveland, but this failed to gain any traction.

The specifics of his contract with the Raiders are unknown at this time. Credit to him for the Step Brothers reference.

Update: In a statement made to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Cribbs said the following: “I am going to be for them until we play them. They are great fans. I love them just as much as they love me. I hope they win this year. I hope they get the job done and reach greater heights. I hope they root for me as a player and I will be rooting for them from afar.”

[Related: Pat McManamon talks Browns, Chuck Klosterman, AOL FanHouse, new media and Fox Sports Ohio]

NFL News: Josh Cribbs believes return to Cleveland is possible

Could Josh Cribbs return to Cleveland? The veteran wide receiver and Pro Bowl return man apparently thinks it is possible.

Brent Sobleski from The Orange and Brown Report says that Cribbs, a free agent, could stick with the Browns in the event that the money and role would be agreed upon. The team is reportedly showing interest in keeping the fan favorite in a Browns helmet, but what the “role” each side wants remains to be seen. The team has recently added wide receivers Davone Bess and David Nelson to fill the slot role, and appears ready to have Greg Little and Josh Gordon on the outside. Factor in that Norv Turner’s offense places emphasis on the tight end and Cribbs spent a good portion of last season pleading for more touches, and it seems as if the player would have to compromise more than the team.

As mentioned in a recent WFNY column, Cribbs has recently put his Cleveland-area home up for sale, but fell out of favor with the Arizona Cardinals when he reportedly failed a physical. The Cardinals later drafted LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu to help their return game, leaving Cribbs on the outside looking in.

In 2012, Cribbs caught seven passes for 63 yards and zero touchdowns. He averaged over 27 yards per kickoff return, but has not run back a kickoff for a touchdown since 2009.

[Related: Where is the line drawn with character concerns?]

Comparative Castles and Market Mispricing

Cribbs House

In a southwestern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio exists a sprawling brick colonial. A little over 5,000 square feet, the estate greets you with a two-story grand foyer where chocolate dark wood meets crisp white pillars, both of which lead to a giant staircase. Immediately to your right is a front room typical of most large, newly constructed homes—relatively unused, pristine with pops of cardinal red paint on the walls and monochrome furnishings that ooze minimalism. The rest of the home provides a palatial experience with each additional step thanks to a 400-square foot, two-story great room complete with a marble-enclosed fireplace; a library-ready office with rich wood built-in shelving and just enough character thanks to the tray ceilings; and a saltwater aquarium that would made Deuce Bigalow do a double-take. The landscaping could use some work, but hey—it’s April.

Joshua Cribbs owns multiple NFL records. The long-time Browns return man owns a house—more specifically, this house. Yet, he has no home.

[Read more...]

Craig and Rick talk Browns – WFNY Podcast – 2013-03-22

WFNY Podcast LogoCraig and Rick of Waiting For Next Year discussed the Cleveland Browns’ off-season so far.

  • Rob Chudzinski and his talk with Mike Florio
  • Phil Dawson and the Browns communication about his departure
  • Jordan Cameron and the Browns’ tight end situation
  • The Cleveland Browns’ signing of former Chicago Bears tight end Kellen Davis
  • D’Qwell Jackson and his value to the organization
  • Josh Cribbs and his value going forward
  • Joe Haden and just how much he’s worth on an extension
  • The pre “rookie wage scale” draft picks and if they’re in for a rude awakening

Much much more. [Read more...]

NFL News: Conflicting reports on Josh Cribbs’ failed physical

Multiple reports are swirling regarding the potential failed physical of wide receiver/kick returner Josh Cribbs who was slated to sign with the Arizona Cardinals.

ESPN Cleveland’s Will Burge published a sourced report that stated the long-time Cleveland Browns fan favorite had failed his phyisical due to a knee scope which he underwent earlier this offseason.

Shortly thereafter, Cribbs’ agent JR Rickert told USA Today –  later reported by The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot — that the player did not fail the physical, but that the Cardinals prefer to wait until he has fully recovered from off-season surgery on the meniscus cartilage in one of his knees. It will be at this point when he will be given another physical. The USA Today report adds that it is unclear if the Cardinals agree with Rickert’s assessment of the situation and whether they’ll now look for another free-agent returner to add.

In eight seasons in Cleveland, Cribbs was named All Pro twice, having provided one of the best all-around special teams efforts throughout the entire NFL. Cribbs’ eight career kickoff return touchdowns remains tops in the league record books, tied with Leon Washington. He has two career games where he amassed at least 300 all-purpose yards.

[Related: Farewell to Josh Cribbs (for now)]

Farewell to Josh Cribbs (for now)

Josh Cribbs shares with rookie receivers

Josh Cribbs shares with rookie receivers

I have a sister in mourning over the impending departure of Josh Cribbs. It stinks to ever have to say goodbye to players that you love as a fan of a team. Even as much as people tend to dislike Ray Lewis outside of Baltimore, there’s no denying that his career there couldn’t have ended more perfectly for his fans. Those situations aren’t the norm and certainly not with the history of the Cleveland Browns since Josh Cribbs has been in Cleveland. I will argue that this Cleveland Browns ending with Josh Cribbs is perfect enough though.

The heart and head aren’t usually aligned when fans think about NFL players. It is a brutal sport dominated mostly by young people who have yet to put themselves through the numerous car crashes it takes to endure an NFL season. That punishment and ability to withstand it is part of the mystique of NFL players that fans end up gravitating toward.

Few have played the game under those conditions with as much passion and zeal as Josh Cribbs. The fact is that it is precisely and obviously why a universe of Browns fans loves Cribbs. Yet it’s also obvious to most that the best thing for the team they love and their future is to continue to get younger and plan for a future beyond the presumed expiration date of Josh Cribbs’ next contract. [Read more...]

Steelers cut Browns nemesis James Harrison

James Harrison has left a trail of broken bodies in Cleveland and I’m not just talking about guys on the roster. Sure, Mohamed Massaquoi, Josh Cribbs and Colt McCoy took their bumps (videos,) but remember that James Harrison also suplexed an unruly Browns fan who ran on the field during a game.

Well now, James Harrison is no longer a member of the Steelers.

As Harrison is set to turn 35 years old in May, he apparently wouldn’t agree to cut his salary back from the approximate $6.5 million he was set to make in 2013. His knees were also giving him problems over the last few years.

There are enough teams converting to the 3-4 and enough teams that might not mind taking a chance on an older Harrison assuming they don’t need him to play full time anymore. It will be interesting to see just how much money Harrison gets and from which team.

For whatever reason, I really don’t expect the Browns to be that team.

[Related: WFNY Podcast – 2013-02-15 – @SteelersDepot talking Browns and the rest of the AFC North]

Scott talks Browns, free agency, trust and more – WFNY Podcast – 2013-03-07

WFNY Podcast LogoThe third podcast of the week and finally I gave Scott the chance to break down a few things. The idea was to give Scott the reigns to talk about MIT. I ended up feeling like I talked more than ever on one of these things. I don’t know if I should let you in on my secret, but the key to this whole podcasting thing is kind of just getting out of the way sometimes. (Shh. Don’t tell anyone.)

Here’s a rundown…

  • The Browns and secrecy: Is it OK?
  • MIT Sloan conference (again)
    The iPhone app
  • Daryl Morey and the Rockets and what it means to the Cavs
  • What does it mean to the Browns?
  • Free agency vs. the draft and Mike Wallace
  • Spending now vs. spending later
  • The Moneyball moment in baseball
  • Tony Dungy and his ability to motivate his team
  • Analytics and style of play
  • Stability in organizations and coaching staffs
  • Ray Horton and how long he’ll be in Cleveland
  • Phil Dawson, Josh Cribbs and whether the Browns need them
  • Pierre Garcon vs. Mike Wallace

[powerpress url="http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/WFNYPodcast2013-03-07.mp3"] [Read more...]

Tough decisions loom for Browns on fan favorites

Phil Dawson-5Twenty-two combined seasons in Orange and Brown. Four Pro Bowls. Two fan favorites. Both free agents.

Cleveland fans love to hold on to their sports heroes. Josh Cribbs and Phil Dawson have been consistently the best things about Cleveland Browns football since the team returned in 1999.

Josh Cribbs walked on the team as an undrafted free agent after playing QB for Kent State in 2005. His counterpart from the University of Akron Charlie Frye, was a third round pick of the Browns that same year. Frye would start 18 games for the Browns before being traded to Seattle in 2007.

Phil Dawson is another undrafted player that found a home with the Browns after trying to stick with the Raiders and Patriots. Dawson is the only player that has been with the team from the return in 1999.

Both are fan favorites. Whether it was the hard work they put in to become top players at their positions or the way they embraced Cleveland and it’s fans, both are loved and would be missed if they weren’t with the team next year. [Read more...]

NFL News: Browns unlikely to meet Josh Cribbs’ asking price

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise for anyone as free agency kicks off soon. But we finally got one of our most severe indications than one of the best post-expansion Browns might soon be leaving Cleveland.

NFL.com reported earlier Saturday afternoon that the Browns are unlikely to meet the asking price of 29-year-old Joshua Cribbs. According to a source close to the Kent State product via NFL.com’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, Cribbs’ asking price is in the range of $1.8 to 2 million a year.

As fans might recall, Cribbs reached a 3-year deal with the Browns prior in March 2010 that was worth up to $20 million, with reportedly $7-8 in guaranteed money at the time. Yet, his value and playing time have decreased from year-to-year over the duration of this contract, leading to its expiring this offseason.

It’s been no surprise that this relationship might be at its end. We did learn earlier this week, however, that the team planned to meet with Cribbs’ agent J.R. Rickert at the draft combine in Indianapolis, which began on Thursday. It is thus possible that said meeting let to today’s news of no potential meeting of contract and asking price.

Because of his past success and relatively low needs, it certainly seems likely that the former Golden Flash will find some home in the NFL for the 2013 season. We’ll keep you updated on all of the latest as we see it with him and another fan favorite, Phil Dawson, over the coming weeks.

[Related: Joe Banner and the assumed departure of Phil Dawson]

Browns to meet with Josh Cribbs’ agent

Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reports that the Browns will meet with Josh Cribbs’ agent J.R. Rickert at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. This doesn’t necessarily fly in the face of earlier reports that the Browns were cool on the possibilities of bringing the special teams standout back. It is reasonable for any team to perform their due diligence with all their free agents. Rickert also represents Browns restricted free agent Chris Ogbonnaya.

Even with the Browns meeting, I fully expect Cribbs to have an opportunity to test his market value on the open market. If the Browns do bring someone like Cribbs back, I expect it will be a very favorable deal for the club only after Cribbs is unable to garner interest in a substantial multi-year deal elsewhere.

Cribbs will go down in history as one of the greatest Cleveland Browns of all time due to his record-setting performances as a special teamer and return man. Still, in a league where Peyton Manning can’t find a way to spend his entire career with a single team, it remains a longshot that a special teams player like Cribbs would be able to do so either.

[Related: Ben Watson, Mohamed Massaquoi listed as free agents not likely to return]

 

Josh Cribbs still without word on future with Browns

Joshua Cribbs may have taken his Cleveland Browns helmet off for the final time.

In Honolulu for the 2013 NFL Pro Bowl, the 29-year-old receiver and return man hauled in three passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. But with his free agency off-season looming, the long-time member of the Browns, the NFL record holder has yet to hear of his future since Jimmy Haslam III and Joe Banner took over making the decisions in Berea.

For 2012, Cribbs did not score a touchdown in the regular season, covering six runs, seven catches, 38 punt returns and 43 kick returns. He was a large part of the field position game, averaging 27.4 yards per kickoff return and 12.0 yards per punt return — both figures among the top six in the NFL.

Over the course of the regular season, Cribbs voiced his displeasure about not being used as a weapon on offense. These cries were met with the same amount of silence he has received since Week 17. He also boiled over emotionally toward the end of the season, launching into a tirade on Twitter following a loss.

Fellow Pro Bowler Phil Dawson will also be a free agent heading into the 2013 season.

[Related: Browns drop final game to Steelers and start off-season of change]

(Source: Canton Repository)

Josh Cribbs added to AFC Pro Bowl Roster

Josh Cribbs knew he would be named to the Pro Bowl after the AFC Championship game. He just didn’t know whose place he would be taking.

Cribbs was the first alternate for either Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones (kick returner) and New England’s Matthew Slater (special teamer). With the Ravens’ win over the Patriots, Jacoby Jones will not be participating in the Pro Bowl as he prepares for the Super Bowl. That means Cribbs will become the AFC’s kick returner-

“Cleveland Browns kick returner Joshua Cribbs has been named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster, the league announced today. Cribbs replaces Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones on the team.

This marks Cribbs’ third career Pro Bowl selection as he also earned the honor following the 2007 and 2009 seasons as the AFC’s kick returner. He finished fourth in the NFL this year in kickoff return average (27.4) and sixth in punt return average (12.0). He also added nine special teams tackles. Cribbs also became just the sixth player in league history to total 12,000 or more career kick and punt return yards.

Cribbs joins Joe Thomas (tackle) and Phil Dawson (kicker) who were previously named starters on the AFC Pro Bowl squad. With three players selected to the Pro Bowl, this marks the most the Browns have had since the 2009 Pro Bowl when the Browns also had three players named to the team. The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 27 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and televised by NBC in prime time at 7:00 p.m. ET.”

D’Qwell Jackson was the first alternate to replace Jerod Mayo if the Patriots had won. The loss means Jackson will likely not make the club, unless an injury replacement is needed.

[Related: Joe Thomas named NFL Man of the Year finalist]

Browns’ Josh Cribbs attempts to make up for Twitter tirade

Following a profanity-laced tirade aimed at the vocal minority of more-than-likely anonymous “fans” who think it’s acceptable to call professional athletes derogatory names behind the comfort of a keyboard, long-time Cleveland Browns return man and wide receiver Josh Cribbs is trying to make amends, at least to the decent human beings.

Following the team’s recent loss in Denver, once which the NFL record holder muffed a punt in the second half, Cribbs took to Twitter to fight back, in the heat of the momet, against the lowest common denominator that the Internet has to offer. The tweet was later deleted with the messages above left to clear the air.

The Browns head to Pittsburgh this Sunday to face the Steelers in a Week 17 match-up. As it stands, this contest will the final game with Cribbs playing in a Browns uniform.

[Related: Is this the last home game for Josh Cribbs in Cleveland?]

Cleveland Browns Game 14: Winners and Losers

Who caught your eye? Did someone stand out? Who blew it? That’s what were interested in this morning. Winners and losers.

There won’t be many winners from this week unfortunately for Browns players and fans alike. Let’s get to it….

LOSER: Cleveland. Despite flashes of possible good things to come, the city’s flagship sports team will once again have a losing season. The Browns have played sub-500 ball for nine of the last 10 seasons, and 13 of the last 15. One more loss and they will have five straight years of double-digit losses. [Read more...]

Redskins vs. Browns – Open Thread

The Browns have a chance to extend the win streak to four.

This could be the last home game for Josh Cribbs as a member of the Browns.

RG3 sits for former Michigan State QB and rookie Kirk Cousins.

This could be hopeful Browns Pro Bowl Kicker Phil Dawson’s last home game as a member of the Browns as well.

Stay right here all day for updates and conversation in the comments!

Is this the last home game for Josh Cribbs in Cleveland?

Josh Cribbs was named the Browns’ fourth captain for the final home game against the Washington Redskins this week. “The fourth captain this week will be Josh Cribbs,” said Pat Shurmur. “I’ve talked about it numerous times, but I really appreciate Josh for his toughness. In a sport like football, a guy that’s tough, that’s the highest honor.” Could it be a coincidence that Cribbs gets this honor this week? Is it just happenstance that Pat Shurmur “wanted to get Cribbs the touchdown” last week when he challenged the spot on the goalline on first down?

A couple of facts can’t be argued. First is that Josh Cribbs has been an excellent player for the Cleveland Browns. At times he was the only legit scoring option on the field for the Browns. When his time in Cleveland is over he will go out having rewritten the record books for kick returns. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that he is overall the best special teams player in the history of the franchise – especially among non-kickers. The other thing that can’t be disputed is Josh’s displeasure with his current role on the team. [Read more...]