CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Josh Cribbs would love nothing more than to re-sign with the Cleveland Browns.
He’s also very realistic about the situation and understands that the new regime may not want to bring him back.
As a result, his appearance Thursday night at the Cleveland Auto Show may have been his last as a member of the Browns.
“It’d be a sad thing to not play for the Browns,” Cribbs said in an interview with 92.3 The Fan. “I want to end my career here. This is the team that gave me an opportunity to shine and I’ve done that with this team and it would be a sad thing to leave this community.”
With that reality setting in, Cribbs has already crossed 3 teams off the list that he will not play for next season – the Browns’ AFC North rivals.
“Not necessarily [out of respect for] the Browns but respect for the fans,” Cribbs said. “The community, the fans, they speak more to me and motivate me more than an organization would.
“Out of respect for the community and the fans of this great city I don’t want to go in [division] at all.”
Should he have to play elsewhere, Cribbs plans to keep his home and family in Cleveland while spending the necessary time away in the home of his new team.
Earlier this week, Cribbs told 92.3 The Fan’s Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps that he was not confident that he would return in 2013.
He explained why he felt that way Thursday night.
“If they would have had high interest something would’ve been done before free agency even kicked off,” Cribbs said. “Just the simple fact that that hasn’t happened and it just doesn’t feel right. I would love to stay here and I’m going to do everything in my power to stay here and end my career with Cleveland but all I can do is hope for the best but prepare for the worst at the same time.”
Cribbs has had contact with his agent J.R. Rickert but there isn’t much to report in the way of negotiations with the Browns – not even after the NFL Scouting Combine, which is usually a prime opportunity for teams and agents to lay the groundwork for future talks.
“It’s just a waiting game right now,” Cribbs said. “I’m just waiting and seeing.”
Cribbs clarified that he and Rickert have not talked to any other teams, which would be a violation of league tampering rules, but they are compiling a wish list of potential destinations if the Browns don’t want him back.
“You can’t really negotiate anything right now,” Cribbs said. “Right now I’m just talking back and forth with him about teams I would consider when that time comes.”
Free agency and the new league year begins March 14 at 4 p.m. but negotiations may begin as early as March 9.
In 8 seasons with the Browns, Cribbs appeared in 3 Pro Bowls and amassed over 12,000 combined return yards.