Monday, May 28, 2018
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Browns' pick of Winslow is mystifying

In hindsight, I can't believe the Cleveland Browns drafted Kellen Winslow Jr.

I can't believe Browns management drafted Winslow knowing he's represented by two of the toughest negotiators in the NFL.

I can't believe Cleveland's brass traded a second-round draft choice to move up one spot and select Winslow with the sixth overall selection.

I can't believe Browns management made its first - and only - contract offer to Winslow only three days before the start of training camp.

I can't believe Browns president and CEO John Collins described Winslow's contract proposal as "our best offer."

I can't believe anyone is surprised that Winslow - considered to be a major part of the Browns' offense, along with new starting quarterback Jeff Garcia - still hasn't reported to camp.

In some NFL circles, Winslow was projected as the top talent in the draft.

More athletic than his Hall of Fame father with the same name, Winslow was viewed as a player with the ability to revolutionize the tight-end position, much like Jeremy Shockey of the New York Giants.

While the Browns didn't go overboard in their praise for Winslow, Butch Davis, who recruited Winslow to play at the University of Miami, let his actions do the talking.

Davis shipped a second-round pick to Detroit - a high price for a player the Lions weren't going to draft anyway.

Davis, however, didn't want to chance not getting his man.

When Davis drafted Winslow, it apparently didn't matter to Browns management that Winslow was represented by Kevin and Carl Poston - the notorious Poston Brothers.

The Poston Brothers are to contract negotiations what a lighted match is to a firecracker.

Last year, Kevin Poston negotiated $4 million more in guaranteed money for No. 2 overall draft pick Charles Rogers than what No. 1 pick Carson Palmer received.

You don't spit in the wind, you don't tug on Superman's cape, and you don't play chicken with the Poston Brothers like the Browns are doing.

The Postons are from Venus, the Browns are from Mars.

Winslow isn't budging. The Postons are famous for having their players sit out for as long as it takes.

Other Poston clients currently involved in contract disputes include Oakland's Charles Woodson, St. Louis' Orlando Pace, and San Francisco's Julian Peterson.

If the Browns' seven-year offer that includes $13 million in guaranteed money is indeed final, don't expect to see Winslow wearing a Cleveland uniform anytime soon.

No. 1 pick Eli Manning received $20 million in guaranteed money, No. 2 pick Robert Gallery received $18.5 million in guaranteed money, and No. 3 pick Larry Fitzgerald received $20 million in guaranteed money.

No. 4 pick Philip Rivers is unsigned. No. 5 pick Sean Taylor - whose contract is identical to what the Browns offered Winslow - received $13 million in guaranteed money. No. 7 pick Roy Williams received $13.5 million in guaranteed money.

By trading up to draft Winslow, the Browns essentially agreed to break the bank to sign him.

With each day, Winslow's price tag goes up.

And the Browns' chances of signing him goes down.

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