BEREA - The yearlong soap opera is over.
All-Pro special teamer Joshua Cribbs signed a restructured contract with the Browns, modifying its final three years. Cribbs and president Mike Holmgren talked at a hastily called news conference, before Cribbs left for the auto show to meet and talk with the fans.
"I'm excited first of all, it's been a long road, and I owe a lot to the fans and I owe a lot to my family," Cribbs said. "We reached a good compromise and I'm happy to wear this uniform proudly as I've been saying the whole time."
The Plain Dealer's Web site reported the deal replaces the remaining three years and contains $7.5 million guaranteed. It can reach $20 million with incentives. Agent J.R. Rickert didn't immediately return messages.
Cribbs had three years left on a six-year, $6.7 million deal but felt he had outperformed it with two Pro Bowl seasons in the last three years. He had been asking for a new deal - and threatening to not play for the Browns again - since last offseason. With the new regime of Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert, Cribbs finally got his money.
Holmgren said Cribbs' performance outweighed the negatives of renegotiating a deal with three years left.
"You start with the philosophy we’re going to make every effort to keep our core players, our best players here. And clearly Josh is one of those," Holmgren said. "In Josh’s case, they had a good point.
"I could say no, we’re not going to do it, but that would be kinda silly."
READ SATURDAY'S C-T FOR MORE ON CRIBBS AND THE FIRST DAY OF FREE AGENCY.