of trade talks with miller....hehehe
Posted on Sat, May. 10, 2003
Browns withdraw Miller offer
Free-agent linebacker's agent cites desire for
large role as reason contract not accepted
By Patrick McManamon
Beacon Journal staff writer
CLEVELAND - Jamir Miller's time with the Browns
The Browns withdrew their contract offer to the
free-agent linebacker Thursday night and told
Miller's agent, Leigh Steinberg, that they would
move on without the player, Steinberg said
``Its understandable,'' Steinberg said. ``Because
we had been in negotiations for some period of
time. Obviously they had made proposals that
Jamir didn't find acceptable. And it wasn't just
one proposal; there were various options. There's
some sadness there (on Miller's part) because
obviously as Jamir began the process at the
beginning of the off-season, his whole desire was
to return to the Browns.
``But their projected use of him appeared to be
more limited than the role he had played in his
Pro Bowl, 13-sack season. Jamir's feeling has
been that if he is going to play football that he
could be a full-time contributor.''
The Browns' plans were to use Miller as a
situational pass rusher. Steinberg said Miller
wanted to play every down. That issue, not money,
was what prompted him to not accept the team's
offers, Steinberg said.
Steinberg added that Miller recently has been
having trouble with the Achilles tendon he tore
in the preseason last year.
``He's got some hard thinking to do,'' Steinberg
said. ``He did visit a doctor (a foot specialist)
in Los Angeles (Thursday) because there has been
some swelling in the Achilles area of his foot.
Part of the hesitation that occurred in these
last couple weeks has been that his Achilles has
really been bothering him and has not felt right.
``There's some question in his mind as to whether
he could play (this year).''
Browns President Carmen Policy would not discuss
the specifics of the letter he wrote Steinberg,
but did say the Browns had waited long enough.
``I've tried 100 different ways to nicely say the
time is now -- if he wants a deal with the
Cleveland Browns he should do it now,'' Policy
said. ``That plea has fallen on deaf ears -- or
he has no incentive or interest in following
through on it.''
With ``quarterback school'' starting next week,
Policy said the team wants Miller signed and in
``He had to start getting back to being the kind
of Cleveland Brown he was the year he went to the
Pro Bowl,'' Policy said. ``We feel that it's just
not going to work unless he really makes an
effort, and we haven't seen that effort.''
Not re-signing Miller means the only Brown to
reach the Pro Bowl since the team returned in
1999 will not be back.
The Browns feel strongly, though, that they made
a sincere and strong effort to bring Miller back.
One offer the team had on the table included a $1
million signing bonus. The Browns felt the offer
was more than fair, given that Miller was coming
back from a serious injury and incentives could
have earned Miller more money.
``Carmen has been honest and up front in all of
the discussions we've had, and certainly we
couldn't have asked for more in the way he's
conducted the discussions,'' Steinberg said.
As a free agent, Miller talked to the Browns and
visited Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The Ravens were
very eager to sign Miller, but he never responded
to their offer. The Ravens ended discussions with
Miller after drafting Terrell Suggs.
The Browns felt that was the opening the team
might need, but he still did not accept the
``His sole focus was returning to the Browns and
spending the remainder of his career there,''
Steinberg said. ``His intention was to move his
family there full time. He had every hope and
expectation that he would be playing a vital role
for them. But, again, in the role that the Browns
outlined he would be more of a situation
Miller came to the Browns as a free agent prior
to the 1999 season. When he started that year
strong, the Browns tore up his deal and gave him
a new one, then extended it through 2003.
In 2001, Miller had the best season of his career
with 114 tackles and 13 sacks. He was named the
team's Player of the Year by the local chapter of
the Pro Football Writers of America and went to
the Pro Bowl.
But shortly after returning, he asked for his
contract -- which called for him to make $3.475
million in 2002 and $3.975 million in '03 -- to
be renegotiated. Part of his demand was a signing
bonus in excess of $10 million.
The Browns declined to make a major adjustment
but did put new incentives in the '02 deal. The
relationship between Miller and Coach Butch Davis
became strained when Miller missed most of the
team's off-season workouts. He tore his Achilles
in the first preseason game, which ended his
season and effectively ended the contract talks.
After the season, the Browns honored a commitment
they had made to Miller by putting a $14 million
roster bonus in his contract. The team knew it
wouldn't pay the bonus, but also knew not paying
it would allow Miller to test the free agent
The Browns felt confident that once Miller tested
the market, he would see the team's offer was
Things seemed to be working, except Miller never
accepted the offer.
Now the Browns move on with the young linebackers
Davis drafted the past two seasons.