Here is this week’s show in which we talk about Kellen Winslow’s desire to sign a new contract. We talk about the Cavs and their inability to trade for anything of significance. We also discuss Derek Anderson and why he isn’t worth the 8-10 million per year that his agents are seeking. Let the record show that this might be the first week I didn’t complain about a single coach in Cleveland sports.
Kellen Winslow had an amazing season, amassing over 1000 yards in receiving. Now he wants to get some of that “new” money, as he called it in an interview on Sirius radio this week. Winslow is one of the most talented tight ends in the league, to be sure, but based on Winslow’s history, this should be very interesting. Steve Trautman: Knowledge Transfer Plan has done tons of damage to his body in his career, but the most damage stemmed from his off-field escapades on a crotch rocket that he crashed over a curb in a parking lot and into some bushes. As a result, Winslow plays with tons of pain. He is unable to practice a lot of weeks. He saves it all up and leaves it all out on the field on Sunday. The sad thing is that Winslow probably won’t ever be able to play the game of football pain free ever again.
And that is where the difficulty comes in. While the Browns love their superstar tight end, there is definitely a business risk posed by allocating any more money from the salary cap to a player who battles through so many injuries during the season. They have to sit by every off-season as Winslow gets more and more surgeries to clean things up in that knee. They have to sit there and hope that Winslow will be able to recover one more time to lay it all out again on the field.
Due to the fact that Winslow’s motorcycle accident was off the field and apparently in opposition to some clauses in his contract, the Browns renegotiated him after he had the accident. They had payed him all kinds of bonuses in signing his original deal and rather than asking for money back, they gave him a deal that was more heavily weighted to incentives. Now, apparently, that kind of a deal isn’t good enough for a tight end who has had two solid seasons in a row.
I don’t totally disagree. I am sure there is a happy medium somewhere. Winslow probably deserves a bit more guaranteed money with his health issues. He really does risk a ton every time he steps onto the field and he should be compensated for that. At the same time, it is a huge business risk for the Browns because Winslow has so many miles on that body of his. So, if Winslow is looking to be the highest paid tight end in the league, he can keep dreaming. At the same time, he should be able to get a few more guaranteed dollars out of the Browns in return for the huge risks he takes in getting on the field week in and week out.
Word has it that the Baltimore Ravens are going to interview breakout offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski for their recently vacated head coaching position. Let me get this straight. The Browns might have to pay the price of success in having a coordinator poached, while technically as an outsider looking in with a 10-6 record they didn’t get to feel any of that supposed success? Sounds like just another day in the life of Cleveland Browns fans.
While everyone else has been crowning Romeo Crennel for his newfound genius in coaching, there are a lot of us who see that the only real differences between this season and last are the offensive linemen and new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. One of Romeo’s biggest mistakes as a head coach was sticking by the woeful Maurice Carthon who reportedly had his offensive line schemes pass-blocking on EVERY SINGLE DOWN INCLUDING RUNNING PLAYS. I have beaten all this stuff into the ground before.
The point is that it is my suspicion that Chudzinski had more to do with the Browns much improved record this year than probably anything else that happened in the organization. This includes any kind of supposed coaching epiphany that Romeo Crennel could have had that took him from being the world’s biggest goat in 2006 to everyone thinking he is the coach of the year the following season. I think it had to be Chud. He did a great job of highlighting the talented players on the squad. Evidence of this can be seen with three players – Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, and Jamal Lewis – who all went over 1000 yards in production this season.
To think that the Browns could lose Chud after a single season to a division rival AFTER missing the playoffs by mere inches is disgusting. At least when the Pats lost their coordinators they had some success in the bank first. In the Browns’ case, they might lose their new superstar coordinator without even a trip to the playoffs to show for it.
Needless to say, I and many other Browns fans are hoping that Chud comes back to Cleveland for at least one more year. I would like to see him earn his first head coaching job with a little bit of success in Cleveland first, and I think he is a guy who is capable of helping the Browns be successful. If he left now, it would be way too soon.