Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Josh Cribbs’ career in Cleveland could be over.
Cribbs, who is scheduled to become and unrestricted free agent on March 12, isn’t sure he’ll be with the Cleveland Browns next season.
In an interview with Baskin & Phelps on 92.3 The Fan Tuesday afternoon, Cribbs said that he hasn’t gotten the impression that he’ll be resigned by the team, which in under new management once again.
“It’s at a standstill right now,” Cribbs said of talks between his agent and the Browns. “My plan is to stay with the team as much as possible even if it’s a slight paycut but at the same time not huge paycuts and I’m trying to work with the team.
“I wanna be a Brown and end my career here.”
While Cribbs is willing to negotiate, he does have limits.
“I’m willing to make a compromise but at the same time I won’t devalue myself,” Cribbs said. “I haven’t really been used to my potential and all of that but I just want to be able to help this football team see a playoff and get to the playoffs and see what we can do in the post season because I think we’re so close and I would just hate to have to leave the team right when we’re on the cusp of winning.”
Cribbs said that he is excited about the new coaching staff led by Rob Chudzinski, who was the Browns’ offensive coordinator for 2 years in 2007-08, and has been visiting the facility in Berea daily and talking with new offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with those guys again,” Cribbs said. “I worked with coach Turner at the Pro Bowl a couple of years ago and I definitely know that they can help me [excel] and use me like I should be used.
“Hopefully we can get this contract thing worked out fellas.”
CEO Joe Banner said Saturday in Indianapolis that the team has made up their mind on their existing free agents – including Cribbs – but will keep those decisions private.
Cribbs doesn’t feel too great about his prospects to remain in Cleveland.
“Ultimately we all know it comes down to the upper management,” Cribbs said. “I’m not too confident in upper management because I’m not sure what their plans [are], their intentions.
“Right now it doesn’t seem like the interest level is there with the upper management.”
After catching 41 passes in 2011, Cribbs’ offensive reps were limited last season and he caught just 7 passes for 53 yards much to his dismay.
“I was like, ‘What happened? Did I not catch enough [passes],’” Cribbs said. “I was the third wide receiver [in 2011] and ended up being the second leading receiver and I think I led in touchdown receptions or something like that but it just disappeared [in 2012].
“I know how the business works.”
Cribbs alluded to the Browns’ youth movement and the pressure to play young players who were drafted by the team as the main reason for his lack of inclusion offensively last season.
“It should be the best guys that are going to help you win should play,” Cribbs said. “But when you draft a guy and you spend money on a guy that player has to play or the person that drafted him or got him looks bad.”
If in fact he has played his last game as a Brown, Cribbs said that the thought is tough to think about but he will always be grateful to the Browns organization for giving him a shot at the NFL and of course the fans.
“The level of support the fans gave me is just tremendous,” Cribbs said.