Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - One down. One to go.
The Browns signed running back Trent Richardson Monday night a league source confirmed to 92.3 The Fan but the team has yet to come to terms with quarterback Brandon Weeden.
The deal means that Richardson will be on time to report for training camp with fellow rookies on Tuesday.
Richardson’s agent Jimmy Sexton and the Browns spent most of Monday hammering out the 4-year $20.5 million contract which includes a $13.3 million signing bonus. The deal is fully guaranteed and does not include “offset” language much like the other contracts signed by 6 other top 10 picks to date.
The Browns also hold a fifth-year option as part of the contract which must pay Richardson an average of the top-10 salaries for running backs in 2015.
Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon and Ryan Tannehill are the remaining top 10 picks who have yet to sign.
Richardson, selected No. 3 overall in April’s draft, was waiting on the top 2 picks, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, to sign before he did.
Last week, Griffin came to terms on a 4-year, $21.1 million contract including a $13.8 million signing bonus with the Washington Redskins.
A day later, the Colts signed Luck to a 4-year, $22.1 million deal that included a $14.5 million signing bonus. Both contracts included a fifth year team option per the new collective bargaining agreement.
Weeden’s contract situation is a little more complex for the Browns.
Weeden wants all 4 years guaranteed which would set a precedent for that slot in the draft. Since the new CBA was implemented last year, team’s have been giving later first round picks 3-years guaranteed with partial fourth year guarantees.
In 2011, Colts OT Anthony Costanzo signed a 4-year $8 million contract with $6.535 million guaranteed as the No. 22 pick. Costanzo received a $4.3 million signing bonus as well but only three years were fully guaranteed.
The Patriots didn’t guarantee all 4 years for defensive end Chandler Jones, the 21st overall pick in this year’s draft. Last year’s No. 21 pick Phil Taylor didn’t receive 4 guaranteed years from the Browns either.
Weeden, who will receive a deal worth approximately $8.1 million, is “competing” with Colt McCoy for the starting job. It’s expected that he will be named the starter giving him leverage in negotiations.
Late in June, Weeden seemed to lament the negotiations and business side of the NFL by saying that it takes “two sides” to iron out his contract.
A workout for the rookies and quarterbacks is set for Wednesday before the veterans report on Thursday.
The whole team will take the field Friday afternoon before practices open up to the public beginning Saturday morning.