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Browns president not happy about Winslow deal

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  • Browns president not happy about Winslow deal

    The deal's the thing for Collins
    Friday, August 13, 2004
    Tony Grossi

    Early reviews on the Kellen Winslow Jr. contract do not favor the Browns' new management team.

    Industry sources point to the fact that Winslow, a tight end, will receive approximately twice as much money over the life of the deal than last year's No. 6 pick, defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan of New Orleans.

    Winslow's contract, essentially a maximum of $40 million over six years, includes $16.5 million in guaranteed money. That is comprised of signing bonuses paid in four installments and other roster and option bonuses.

    Only No. 1 pick Eli Manning and No. 2 choice Robert Gallery in the 2004 draft received more guaranteed money.

    "They got crushed," one NFL team executive said of the Browns.

    "Was it a good contract for the Browns? No," said a prominent player agent not involved in the process.

    John Collins, the new Browns' president who negotiated the deal, does not deny the numbers are mind-boggling for a player who has yet to catch a pass or score a touchdown.

    In his first comments about the epochal negotiations, Collins on Thursday said unique circumstances contributed to the record deal. Winslow instantly became the highest-paid tight end in NFL history.

    "I'm not happy about these numbers," Collins said. "But at the end of the day, we've got the player on the field."

    The Browns were cast as huge underdogs in the negotiation process from the moment coach Butch Davis traded his second-round draft choice to Detroit to move up one notch and select Winslow.

    They also were considered neophytes. Collins, formerly the league's top marketing executive, had never negotiated a player contract. Further, he was pitted against agent Kevin Poston, whose reputation for holding out players was well established.

    Adding to the mix was Kellen Winslow Sr., a Hall of Fame tight end who was intent on looking out for his son.

    Plus, the contracts of Manning, Gallery and No. 3 pick Larry Fitzgerald came in significantly higher than anyone anticipated.

    "The other deals that got done [before Winslow's] have been described as monster contracts, so that doesn't make it easier," Collins said. "If I had been doing player contracts for five years or for 10 years, this one would still be unique.

    "Yeah, I felt pressure, but I felt pressure for the organization. It was set up, as someone said, to be a volatile situation. It was a pretty emotionally charged negotiation. And as an organization, it was a good experience for us to go through. It was a little baptism by fire."

    The Browns set their limit for maximum value at $40 million, the figure contained in the deal received by No. 5 pick Sean Taylor of Washington. It was rejected by Poston as a bad deal.

    Collins disclosed the figures in a statement to the media and called it the team's "best offer." That was a rookie mistake, sources maintained.

    "Maybe I shouldn't have said 'best offer,' but we still think that was a helluva offer," Collins said.

    After ex-Browns Jim Brown and John Wooten communicated with Poston and Winslow behind the scenes, Collins improved the club's offer without raising the maximum value.

    Ultimately, he raised the "skeleton" of the contract - the minimum Winslow could earn - plus the guaranteed money. And he made it easier for Winslow to reach the maximum of $40 million with individual and team incentives.

    "I think the best thing that I took away was we both got what we wanted," Collins said. "We didn't get everything, they didn't get everything."

    Poston's initial demand called for a maximum of about $54 million. After reaching agreement Tuesday night, he said the key was getting an incentive package that was "attainable" for Winslow. Winslow can begin cashing in on those incentives with 45 receptions his rookie year or 700 yards receiving.

    "Our football guys expect [Winslow] to make the Pro Bowl," Collins said.

    Collins said he did not receive pressure from Davis to get Winslow signed and in camp.

    "But you feel that pressure because you want to protect your coach and you want to give him what he needs, and you know that he needs this kid," Collins said.

    Ultimately, Winslow's negotiations might be compared to the talks held in 1996 between the Baltimore Ravens and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden. Established agents Marvin Demoff and Don Yee opposed young David Modell in that showdown. It was dubbed "David vs. Goliath," and Goliath surely won. Ogden, taken No. 4, signed the most lucrative contract in the entire draft.

    After seven consecutive selections to the Pro Bowl by Ogden and one Super Bowl championship by Baltimore, the Ravens long ago stopped defending that first negotiation process.

    "If you think he's a Hall of Fame player, then he's worth the money," said an agent. "It's all contingent on how he performs."

    In other words, the contract won't matter if Davis is right about Winslow. Only if he is wrong.

Related Topics


  • DJRamFan
    Browns' Winslow finally signs, attends first practice
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 11, 2004 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,...
    -08-11-2004, 10:53 AM
  • HUbison
    Garcia to Winslow
    by HUbison
    Garcia urges Winslow to join Browns

    By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
    August 4, 2004
    BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Jeff Garcia delivered his message to Kellen Winslow Jr. with the pinpoint accuracy of a tight spiral.

    As the rookie tight end's contract holdout with the Cleveland Browns approached one week, Garcia said it's time Winslow Jr. reported for training camp.

    ``It's important to get him here,'' the Browns' new quarterback said. ``It's one of those things where you need to think about the team. You are going to get your riches no matter what, but you need to think about the team.

    ``This is a team game.''

    Meanwhile, the Browns and agent Kevin Poston are as much as $15 million apart. Complicating matters in the negotiations are recent deals signed by other top picks, with two that included $20 million in guaranteed money.

    Garcia decided it was time to add his two cents.

    Following Wednesday's morning practice, Garcia said he planned to call Winslow and urge him to join his teammates.

    ``Think about what you have to experience in terms of creating a team atmosphere and a team bond,'' said Garcia, in his first season with Cleveland.

    ``It is not creating a really positive situation for him not being here in training camp because we are all out here sweating through it. It's important that he gets out here and joins in the mix with us,'' he said.

    There's no telling when that might happen since it appears Winslow Jr. and the Browns are at an impasse in talks.

    Winslow, the No. 6 pick, has missed 10 practices since July 30 when Poston rejected the Browns' initial offer -- a six-year, $40 million deal.

    Although the Browns' offer to Winslow represents a 135-percent increase over the deal signed by last year's No. 6 pick, defensive tackle Jonathan Sullivan, it isn't enough for Kellen Winslow Sr.

    The Hall of Famer has said publicly that he wants ``fair market value'' for his son. However, it's impossible to determine what that is because Poston isn't saying what he's after.

    It's hard to predict what effect, if any, Garcia's plea will have on Winslow Jr.

    At least one other Browns player said he wouldn't rush the former University of Miami star to sign.

    ``I can't tell him to get in here,'' said safety Earl Little, another ex-Hurricane. ``He has the best leverage he could have. He sees all these young kids getting all this money. He has to take his time.

    ``The more he can get, the better for him. I'm happy for him.''
    -08-05-2004, 07:43 AM
  • RamWraith
    Winslow likely done for the year
    by RamWraith
    By MIKE McLAIN Tribune Chronicle

    BEREA - The joy ride Kellen Winslow Jr. took on his motorcycle last Sunday is expected to cost the Browns highly-touted tight end the 2005 season.
    The Tribune Chronicle has learned that Winslow suffered a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Surgery will be required, which means that Winslow will likely miss the upcoming season.

    Timetables for recovering from ACL surgery vary depending on the severity of the tear and the individual. A common reference point is a minimum of eight to 10 months, but it's possible that Winslow might need a full year to recover from surgery.

    The Browns issued a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming that Winslow was still hospitalized, but no details of the knee injury were given. The statement did say that concern remains with the right knee. It went on to say that the team wouldn't comment on any aspects of his contract.

    Winslow, the seventh overall choice in the 2004 draft, was hurt when he lost control of his Suzuki GSX-R750 and hit a curb in a parking lot of a community college in Westlake. Winslow, who was traveling an estimated 35 mph, was thrown over the handlebars and landed in a landscaped area. His helmet flew off, but he didn't suffer head injuries.

    A report on the "CBS Sportsline" website stated that Winslow might have punctured a lung and hurt a kidney. The kidney injury is believed to be a bruise.

    Winslow spent Sunday night at Fairview Hospital. He was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic Monday to be evaluated by Browns' physicians.

    Missing the 2005 season could cost Winslow plenty of money because of a breach in Paragraph 3 of his contract that states he must refrain from participating in hazardous non-football activities that involve a significant risk of injury. Activities include, but aren't limited to, skydiving, hang gliding, mountain climbing, auto racing, motorcycling, scuba diving and skiing.

    The team could recover $5 million of his initial $6 million signing bonus and the entire $4.4125 million option bonus that was triggered in early March. Winslow received $2 million of that bonus in March, but the remaining $2.4125 isn't payable until July 15.

    Agents Kevin and Carl Poston negotiated a six-year, $40 million contract for Winslow last year, which is the most lucrative ever for a NFL tight end. The total value was reduced to $29.4175 million when Winslow failed to meet an incentive for playing time because of a season-ending ankle injury suffered in a week two game against the Dallas Cowboys. The one-time incentive would have activated $5.367 million in future bonuses and $5.215 million in future base salaries.

    Winslow is the latest in what has become a long list of Browns first-round draft choices that haven't panned out. Quarterback Tim Couch (1999) is out of football with...
    -05-05-2005, 02:53 PM
  • Nick
    Will Shaun Rogers hit the free agent market?
    by Nick
    Browns tackle Shaun Rogers reportedly wants off team, upset with new coach Eric Mangini

    by Mary Kay Cabot / Plain Dealer Reporter
    February 25, 2009 03:07AM

    Browns Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers is so disgruntled with new coach Eric Mangini and the new regime that he's asked the team not to pay his guaranteed $6 million option bonus next month,'s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday night.

    Schefter, according to a source close to Rogers, said the tackle would rather be released after only one season even though he's owed $15 million in guaranteed money. However, he hasn't asked yet to be released, the Browns told

    Rogers is reportedly miffed about two off-season incidents in which he feels Mangini snubbed him. The first time, Mangini walked into the Browns' training room and didn't say hello to Rogers, the source said. The second time, Mangini and Rogers were together in the media room at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards on Jan. 23 and neither acknowledged the other.

    Mangini said at a news conference Feb. 4: "I didn't even realize Shaun was there at the time. I know that's probably hard to believe considering how big he is and how big I am. It's like two destroyers missing each other."

    Mangini recently reached out to Rogers, according to the report. And a source within the Browns organization told Schefter that Mangini is still optimistic he can sway Rogers once they speak. But sources close to Rogers say he won't change his mind.

    The report says some believe there are other reasons why Rogers wants to leave the Browns, but didn't specify.

    Acquired in a trade with the Detroit Lions last off-season for cornerback Leigh Bodden and a third-round pick, Rogers signed a six-year, $42 million deal that extended his contract by three years through 2013. It included $20 million in guarantees and a total of $23 million over the first three years.

    Rogers' season, which included 76 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a team-high 15 pressures, earned him his third Pro Bowl and it appeared his career had been rejuvenated after leaving Detroit.

    The Browns would take a $9.7 million salary-cap hit if they cut Rogers, according to the report, but they have no intentions of releasing him.

    Mangini might have already known trouble was brewing during his Feb. 4 news conference. He wished Rogers well for the Pro Bowl the following weekend and said Rogers would have a chance there to talk to New York Jets Pro Bowl tackle Kris Jenkins, a big Mangini supporter.

    "Shaun will be able to ask Kris some questions about me," Mangini said. "Kris and I had a great relationship and I think that'll be good."

    It wouldn't be the first time Mangini has had to win over a star player. When he took over as Jets coach in 2006, he had to change the mind-set...
    -02-25-2009, 10:30 AM
  • RamWraith
    Contract season puts Postons into play
    by RamWraith

    Contract season puts Postons into play

    Howard Balzer writes for Sports Weekly, email him at [email protected]

    Around several NFL precincts this summer, it could very well be considered the summer of the Postons.
    Rather than talking about possible Super Bowls, who's looking good in training camp and just simple football talk, contract negotiations promise to take center stage.

    With July 15 here and the opening of camps within the next two weeks, fans will be reading way too much about contract issues but most notably those involving agents Carl and Kevin Poston in ...

    Cleveland, Jacksonville and Carolina, where they represent tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., the seventh overall selection in April's draft, as well as wide receiver Reggie Williams (ninth overall) and cornerback Chris Gamble (28th overall);

    Oakland, St. Louis and San Francisco, where three of the league's five unsigned franchise players play: cornerback Charles Woodson, tackle Orlando Pace and linebacker Julian Peterson. All have the Postons as their agent;

    Washington, where a grievance is expected to be heard in August regarding a $6.5 million roster bonus allegedly not included by the Redskins last December in a renegotiated contract for linebacker LaVar Arrington. Yes, Arrington is also represented by Carl Poston.

    The Winslow contract should be the least difficult, along with Williams and Gamble, considering that first-round picks are slotted according to where they are selected in the round. The Postons might try to claim that Winslow was rated No. 1 on some team's draft boards, but that argument is essentially one-sided. First, he wasn't picked No. 1, and second, when was the last time we heard an agent say he would accept less for a player because he was selected higher than expected? Next question.

    Where many of the contract stalemates occur is on a player's second contract and when that player has excelled at a high level. That's where the Postons' demands enter the stratosphere and make it near impossible for a team to negotiate.

    After the Rams received a $71 million proposal for Pace in March that included a $27 million signing bonus and another $7 million in guaranteed money (almost as much guaranteed money as the Colts gave quarterback Peyton Manning), president of football operations Jay Zygmunt said: "It's just a waste of time dealing with him (Carl). It makes no sense. Anyone can ask for anything; that's easy to do. Why not ask for a billion dollars? It wouldn't matter."

    Zygmunt noted how often the situations put the player at odds with the team.

    Look no further than the relationship between cornerback Ty Law, another Poston client, and the Patriots during the offseason.

    When either of the Postons talk to the media, which is rare (and they did not return a phone call...
    -07-15-2004, 01:46 PM