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Browns' Winslow finally signs, attends first practice
Aug. 11, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports
BEREA, Ohio -- Kellen Winslow Jr. can begin his pursuit of eclipsing his father's Hall of Fame career.
He has already made more money without catching a pass.
Winslow signed a six-year contract Wednesday morning with the Cleveland Browns and was attending his first practice, wearing a No. 11 jersey, team spokeswoman Julia Payne said.
A team source told The Associated Press the deal has a base salary of $29 million and could be worth up to $40 million if Winslow reaches all his incentives. It also includes a $16.5 million signing bonus, according to the source, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Winslow is the son of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow Sr. and calls himself "The Chosen One."
Winslow Jr. says he expects to exceed his father's accomplishments. Winslow Sr. says at this point, his son is even better than he was.
The Browns have not had a tight end with Winslow Jr.'s combination of size, speed and athleticism since Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome in the 1980s.
The Browns give first-round pick Kellen Winslow Jr. a $16.5 million signing bonus. (Getty Images)
The Browns moved up one spot in April's draft to select the former Miami star with the sixth selection, sending the seventh overall pick and a second-round pick to Detroit.
The team and Winslow's agent, Kevin Poston, were reportedly $12 million to $22 million apart during the negotiations, with Poston seeking a contract similar to the six-year, $54.6 million deal that he negotiated for wideout Charles Rogers last year with Detroit.
But a series of talks that began over the weekend between Poston and Browns president John Collins culminated in a deal Tuesday night.
Poston is a renowned tough negotiator who along with his brother, Carl, represents other prominent NFL clients currently in contract holdouts.
Winslow began his 12-day holdout on July 30 when Poston rejected the Browns' initial offer -- a six-year, $40 million deal that matched what Washington gave safety Sean Taylor, the No. 5 selection.
The deal Winslow agreed to is for the same amount but includes a higher signing bonus and base salary.
Last week, Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia implored Winslow to get to camp, saying, "You are going to get your riches no matter what, but you need to think about the team."
Garcia said he and Winslow have traded phone messages in which the rookie said he was frustrated with negotiations.
Winslow has a reputation as a fiery competitor, which has caused him problems in the past.
In his final season with the Hurricanes, he made headlines for a postgame tirade following a loss to Tennessee in which he called himself a soldier and compared the game to being at war. He later apologized.
The Associated Press News Service
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Re: Browns' Winslow finally signs, attends first practice
If you want to get a laugh, go to the Browns webpage and listen to Kellen Winslow's interview with the media after having signed. He talks about how anxious he was to get into camp (yeah right), and then goes on to say the reason he didn't sign earlier was that he wanted to get his fair market value. Meanwhile, it seems the local media continues to wuss out and won't ask what's on everyone's mind: Kellen, do you honestly think your fair market value is higher than any other NFL tight end has ever made, even though you haven't played a single professional down?
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