Cleveland’s Cribbs Threatens Holdout

Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs, who is one of the best kick returners in the game, is threatening to hold out if his contract is not renegotiated.

Cribbs has four years left on his six-year, $6.7 million contract.  Representatives for Cribbs are hoping to meet with Browns coach Eric Mangini and general manager George Kokinis next week. "We continue to be optimistic that the situation will be addressed by the Browns," Cribbs' agent, J.R. Rickert, said in the press recently, "It is the right thing to do for a player who has significantly outperformed his existing contract and who is being asked to do significantly more on the field than when hefirst signed his current contract."

Cribbs is a big part of Cleveland’s plans this season.  In addition to returning kicks, the Browns are looking at him as a wide receiver who can play or be used out of the backfield.  They have even considered using him at safety in certain situations.  Mangini has said that Cribbs will still be a special team player with occasional work on offense.  Last year Cribbs rushed 29 times for 167 yards and attempted four passes as NFL betting numbers indicated.

Cribbs is upset because former general manager Phil Savage and former coach Romeo Crennel said that his contract would be redone.  The current Cleveland regime has said they are not responsible for anything that Savage or Crennel promised so these negotiations could get interesting.

Cleveland enters the 2009 season as one of the longshots in NFL betting to win the Super Bowl at 50-1.  The Browns have to settle on a starting quarterback before anything else gets done.  NFL betting reports have Brady Quinn holding the early lead over Derek Anderson as the team heads to training camp.  Quinn took snaps with the first team at Cleveland’s voluntary workouts.  Mangini said that Quinn had "done a really outstanding job in the offseason program" and "had a little bit of an edge." Both players will get a lot of work with the first team in the preseason so the job is still wide open.

Cleveland is really not given much of a chance in the AFC this season in NFL betting. They are 28-1 to win the AFC in NFL odds and only the Chiefs have longer sports betting odds.  Cleveland opens up the regular season at home against the Minnesota Vikings and are 3 point underdogs in NFL odds at the sportsbook.