Not too long ago it looked like Josh Cribbs was heading towards retirement. No one wanted a piece of the injured veteran return man, with teams formerly interested in him filling their needs with other players. But there’s still hope, coming from the direction of the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that he might have a job in 2013.
Cribbs is a two-time All-Pro selection with the record for most touchdowns on kick returns (8), adding three more on punt returns. However, he’s had only one over the last three seasons, while his career as a wide receiver never took off, posting career high numbers of 41 catches and 518 yards in 2011, only to be hardly used as a wideout last season.
Cribbs wanted a little bit more of everything, heading into what was possibly his final contract as an NFL player. Both the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots were intially interested, but the Cardinals were put off by his physical health, instead opting to draft Tyrann Mathieu, a cornerback who’ll probably be playing as a return man as well.
The Patriots didn’t wait till the draft to fill their needs. Seeing Cribbs, 29, wasn’t at the best physical condition, they signed Leon Washington, who has done a very good job with the Seattle Seahawks over the last three seasons.
Without picking return-men in the draft, that leaves the Bucs and the Lions as the only options left for Cribbs to test. The Buccaneers have made quite a few moves this off-season, but a return man hasn’t been one of them. They were interested in Washington before he signed with New England. The Detroit Lions were thinking about re-signing Stefan Logan, but opted to give up on that options instead, leaving them available to try and add Cribbs to the roster.