INDIANAPOLIS — Browns tight end Kellen Winslow will have an unusually light rehabilitation schedule this offseason.
Unusually light, for him.
Coach Romeo Crennel announced Friday at the scouting combine that Winslow underwent arthroscopic knee surgery following the Pro Bowl on Feb. 10 and is leaning against having surgery to repair a partially dislocated left shoulder he suffered in Week 3 of last season.
“He’s rehabbing and he’s moving pretty good,” Crennel said. “It was just a minor cleanout and he’s all right.
“He hasn’t decided anything about the shoulder. He feels pretty good about it and he might let it go.”
Winslow had extensive knee surgery in 2005 after a motorcycle accident, but made it back to play a full season in 2006. He played through intense pain — he wasn’t able to practice much during the season — then had the tricky microfracture procedure early in 2007. He returned to play 16 games and earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
“He’s not your typical human being,” general manager Phil Savage said. “He really has a way of being able to come back from things a little faster than most. He’s got a great spirit about him and competitive spirit and he’s such a physical freak that he’s able to overcome things maybe a little better than the next guy.”
A reporter asked if the cumulative effect of the injuries may prove too great to overcome.
“I wouldn’t want to go down that path,” Savage said. “We’re in Cleveland, and in Cleveland you expect the unexpected. But we feel good about what Kellen has been able to do the last two years.”
Jamal speaks up
Running back Jamal Lewis flew to the combine to sign a three-year contract reportedly worth $17 million, with around $7 million guaranteed. He wants to play out the contract, then retire as a Brown at 31.
“We’re going to try to ride him all the way to the house,” Crennel said.
Lewis said he proved age isn’t an issue last season, when he rushed for 1,304 yards.
“I’m the old Jamal and a lot of gas is left in the tank,” he said. “I’m healthy. When I’m healthy, I’m a good Jamal.
“I have more great years left in me. I just want to have great years and compete with the top backs in this league. Over the next three years, hopefully we’ll compete for a championship.”
Savage said Lewis’ importance was illustrated during the trip to the combine.
“The thing that is so striking is Jamal Lewis is a man, and some of those guys are kids,” he said of the draft prospects. “That’s one reason why we want him on our team, because he brings that mentality that we need in our division to be competitive and win a lot of games.”
Savage said 12-year veteran defensive end Orpheus Roye, 35, may not return. He’s signed for 2008 at $3 million, according to the NFL Players Association.
“Orpheus is at a point in his career where it is up in the air whether he continues or comes back to Cleveland, but I would leave it at that at this particular time,” Savage said.
The Browns have several restricted and unrestricted free agents in addition to quarterback Derek Anderson. The most notable are: cornerback Daven Holly and defensive end Simon Fraser (restricted), and safety Gary Baxter, nose tackle Ethan Kelley and offensive lineman Seth McKinney (unrestricted).
Savage said he’d wait to discuss the Browns’ plans until Thursday, the eve of free agency.
• Veteran special-teamer Nick Sorensen, who played well after signing during the season, is close to signing with the Browns, but the deal isn’t done, according to agent Ron Del Duca.
Crennel said he expects offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley to participate in the offseason program and be ready for minicamp and training camp. Bentley hasn’t played for the Browns since signing as a free agent in 2006. He suffered a torn patellar tendon and had three additional surgeries after a staph infection invaded the knee.
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