There are those who refer to Josh Cribbs as the greatest kick returner in the history of the NFL, but it still might not be enough to keep him with the Cleveland Browns, because the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals are both offering Cribbs more money to come and play for them.
According to the sources around the Browns, Cribbs wants to stay with the team, possibly even for less money than what the Pats and Cards are offering. Still, Cribbs, who has scored only one return touchdown in the last three seasons compared with 10 in the first five, wants more than just money – he wants a bigger role on any offense that chooses to sign him, getting very few chances last season, resulting in 7 receptions total for 2012.
The Browns had bigger needs to take care of on the first day of free agency – signing Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant to vastly improve their situation on defense. They still have plenty of cap-room (began with $47 million under the limit), but Cribbs, who isn’t likely to take up too much space with what should be his final meaningful contract in the NFL (8-year pro, turning 30 in June), wants assurances that he’s going to be more than just a special teams ace.
The Browns are probably going to make one more offer to Cribbs, but it’s unlikely to match what both the Patriots and the Cardinals are willing to pay him.