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Winslow Signs...

Postby slowkidz » Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:19 pm

Winslow agrees to contract
By Pat McManamon, Editor
August 10, 2004


Kellen Winslow's 12-day holdout is over. The
Browns and the team's first-round draft pick
agreed to terms on a six-year contract Tuesday
night, according to a source close to the talks.

Negotiations that continued late into the evening
ended with the agents for Winslow agreeing to a
deal that could be worth as much as $40 million
if he reaches all his incentives.

The team and Kevin Poston, Winslow's agent, said
the signing bonus was worth $16.5 million.

Various reports had the Browns increasing the
base package before incentives to $28 million for
six years. It's not known how much those numbers
changed in the final negotiations.

What got the deal completed?

Apparently the influence of two ex-Browns was
significant. John Wooten knows Winslow's father,
the Hall of Fame tight end, and Wooten and Jim
Brown reached out to the Winslows to say they
felt the Browns' offer was legitimate.

The two sides talked over the weekend, and then
met again Tuesday night. Apparently Wooten urged
Winslow Sr. and Poston to come to Cleveland.

Serious talks started early in the evening and
concluded with the agreement.

Winslow could be in camp today, and he could
travel with the team for the preseason opener
Saturday in Nashville.

The Browns targeted Winslow as one of the three
players they needed in last year's draft. Tackle
Robert Gallery went to Oakland and a trade up
with the Giants to land safety Sean Taylor could
not be completed. The Browns then moved up one
spot - and gave up a second-round pick - to get
Winslow.

Winslow is expected to give Jeff Garcia a strong
down-the-middle presence.

At 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, Winslow is an
inviting target. He caught 117 passes for the
University of Miami the last two years. He scored
only one touchdown as a junior and had nine TDs
in his career.

The Browns have high hopes for Winslow. Players
privately raved about his ability after seeing
him in mincamp.

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Postby slowkidz » Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:20 pm

and...

ESPN.com news services
BEREA, Ohio -- First-round draft choice Kellen
Winslow II agreed to terms Tuesday night on a
six-year contract with the Cleveland Browns,
ending his 12-day holdout, league sources
confirmed for ESPN.com.

The contract is worth $29 million and could bring
Winslow up to $40 million if he reaches all his
incentives. The deal also includes a $16.5
million signing and option bonuses.


The Browns and Winslow's agent, Kevin Poston,
were reportedly $12 million to $22 million apart
with Poston seeking a contract similar to the
six-year, $54.6 million deal that wideout Charles
Rogers received last year from Detroit.


The agreement was reached, however, during a
Tuesday night negotiating session between Browns
president John Collins and representatives for
the former University of Miami tight end.


Conventional wisdom had been that, given the
typically confrontational negotiating style of
Poston and his brother Carl, the tight end would
be the final first-rounder to sign. The Browns,
however, were dogged in pursuit of an agreement.


Winslow is expected to be at training camp
Wednesday, but it's not known when he will start
practicing with the team or if he will play in
the Browns' preseason opener Saturday night at
Tennessee.


Winslow's signing means there are just two
first-round choices -- Chargers quarterback
Philip Rivers (No. 4 overall) and Patriots tight
end Ben Watson (No. 32) -- who are still without
contracts.



The Browns sacrificed a second-round pick,
trading with Detroit to move up one spot in
April's draft, to select Winslow from Miami with
the sixth selection.



Winslow began his holdout on July 30 when Poston
rejected the Browns' initial offer -- a less
inviting six-year, $40 million deal, in which the
money was to be distributed differently than the
accepted contract. The originial deal, which the
Browns announced publicly two weeks ago in a
clever public relations offensive, matched what
Washington gave safety Sean Taylor, the No. 5
selection and Winslow's former Miami teammate.


The move was an intriguing bit of gamesmanship,
one in which the team seized some of the public
momentum away from the agents, whose history is
rife with long holdouts and contentious
bargaining.


In essence, Cleveland put its offer on the table
for Winslow, and then publicly put its cards on
the table, demonstrating to its fans the
importance of getting the tight end into camp as
quickly as possible.



ESPN.com reported early Tuesday that Collins was
prepared to increase both the signing bonus and
guaranteed dollars from the Browns' opening
proposal, but that the franchise would not go
above its self-imposed $40 million total. Collins
had actually suggested over the weekend that the
Browns would probably enhance their first offer,
with some wiggle room available on the signing
bonus.


The Poston brothers, sources said, had been
seeking a contract similar to the one they
negotiated for Detroit Lions wide receiver
Charles Rogers, the second overall choice in the
2003 draft. Rogers received $14.4 million in
aggregate bonus money. Taylor got about $13
million in total bonuses.


The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Winslow is the son of
Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr. His father says
that at this point, his son is even better than
he was.



The Browns have not had a tight end with
Winslow's combination of size, speed and
athleticism since Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome in
the 1980s.


Dubbed as "The Chosen One," Winslow played in 37
games for the Hurricanes and he started 25
contests. He totaled 119 receptions for 1,365
yards and nine touchdowns. A far better receiver
than blocker, Winslow might be used more as an
H-back to compensate for some of his in-line
deficiencies.



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."



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.




Information from ESPN.com senior writer Len
Pasquarelli and The Associated Press was used in
this report.
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Postby PoonGod0 » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:29 am

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