Cribbs not planning to play under current contract

Wide receiver/kick returner Joshua Cribbs doesn’t plan to play a game for the Browns under the terms of his current contract. But Cribbs, who has four years remaining on a six-year, $6.7 million contract, hopes a deal can be worked out by the start of the regular season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Cribbs’ representatives are expected to meet with Browns coach Eric Mangini and general manager George Kokinis next week to discuss reworking the contract. What transpires at that meeting could dictate Cribbs’ next course of action. A holdout, trade demand or leaving training camp at some point are all possibilities, but reaching a compromise on a new contract before things get to those points are the goal, the source said.

Cribbs is one of the NFL’s top kick returners and a versatile offensive weapon who can play wide receiver or come out of the backfield. The Browns also have experimented with using Cribbs some at safety during offseason workouts.

Cribbs said that the Browns’ previous regime of GM Phil Savage and coach Romeo Crennel promised to re-do his contract, but they were fired. Mangini and Kokinis said they aren’t beholden to any commitments made by the prior administration.

— Steve Wyche

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