Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl kick returning Josh Cribbs has released a statement regarding his contract dispute. Cribbs failed to show up to team workouts this week and said in a statement released:
"I humbly and respectfully come to Browns' fans and the Browns letting all know
that I have given my all to this team, on and off the field for 4 complete years
selflessly without regard to myself and my own family. I have sat by while good
players came and went, either due to contracts or injury. I have witnessed a
lot of families uprooted from their stable homes and forced to move wherever the
money came in from. I realize that this is not a fair sport for the players, it
is a business and we are products.
"Contracts are one-sided in favor of the team, yet we as players are told to
honor our contracts without the team honoring them. We are not doctors and
lawyers, we don't get paid for 25 years of work. If we are lucky, we get 10
years at best to make all the money we can to last the rest of our life. We
sacrifice our bodies and our health to make our owners wealthy. I am not asking
for nothing that I have not already earned and will continue to earn. This is
not personal, but I have to be a man and take care of my family for not just a
year or two, but for as long as I am walking this earth.
"I have always given the Browns' team and its fans respect and my loyalty. I
have stepped into many different roles for the betterment of my team and have
brought honor to Cleveland, in the way that I play on the field, and serve in the community.
"I have been blessed with this opportunity to be somebody and ask that I be
treated and compensated on the level of my peers, fairly, according to my work
completed, and on the promise that my future will brightly upheld in a manner
gracious of this team and its fans.
"I want nothing more but to wear the Browns' logo on my chest until my career has
come to an end, and I am deeply disappointed that the team I put my hard work,
blood, sweat and tears in will just write me off as though I am collateral
damage. I maintain that this is not personal to Coach Mangini, Mr. Kokinis, or
Mr. Lerner, for this is a situation that I could not keep in any longer.