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Cleveland Browns

Kellen must wait

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 28, 2008

Browns general manager Phil Savage is willing to listen. But he's not in a rush to renegotiate tight end Kellen Winslow's contract that has three years remaining because Cleveland has other priorities.

First up is free agency, which begins Friday. Then thoughts must turn to finding defensive players in the April 26-27 draft to revamp the front seven of a 30th-ranked unit.

Winslow's agent Drew Rosenhaus said last week at the NFL Combine that he'd discussed the matter with the Browns. Winslow first said he'd like a new deal during an interview with Sirius NFL Radio at the Pro Bowl.

While Winslow has posted two outstanding seasons and is among the league's best tight ends, he's signed through 2010. His contract carries salaries of $4 million in 2008, $4.5 million in 2009 and $4.75 million in 2010.

''We'd listen to anything,'' Savage said Thursday. ''Right now is not the right time to be talking about it because our focus is on other things. Not to take anything away from his value to our team. That's a question I guess everyone would ask, 'Why would you do something with three years remaining on a contract?' Especially when the Browns have shown tremendous patience in dealing with Kellen and giving him an opportunity to come back.''

Savage was referring to Winslow's 2005 motorcycle accident, which has resulted in four surgeries on his right knee. Riding a motorcycle was a violation of his contract and the Browns could have sought to recoup part of his $6 million signing bonus and a $4.4 million option bonus.

''The Browns easily could have gone a totally different route and changed the course of history for him and this team,'' Savage said. ''Quite a lot if we'd decided to do other things. We didn't do that because we felt he was a good player and he's shown he is a good player.''

As for a recent report by the Columbus Dispatch that the Browns and Winslow are at odds over surgery on his left shoulder, Savage said, ''The shoulder, he ended up playing most of the year with it. You would assume it could be strengthened some over the off-season. I'm not going to say one way or the other whether we prefer (it) or not. It's his body. He sought some different opinions and has opted not to do it at this particular time.''

Rosenhaus said at the combine that Winslow's shoulder is fine. It was separated late in a loss at Oakland on Sept. 23.


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