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All five Cleveland Browns restricted free agents agree to team's contract offers

Published: Monday, June 14, 2010, 8:48 PM     Updated: Monday, June 14, 2010, 9:01 PM

UPDATED: 8:57 p.m.

harrisonmd.jpgJerome Harrison and four other restricted signed their tenders

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Browns' hardball strategy of warning their restricted free agents in writing last week that their offers would be reduced if they didn't sign by Tuesday's deadline worked, with all five signing their tender offers by Monday.

It doesn't mean they're all happy, but they're all under contract for the 2010 season. They are linebackers D'Qwell Jackson and Matt Roth, running back Jerome Harrison, fullback Lawrence Vickers, and safety Abe Elam.

All but Roth received second-round tenders worth $1.759 million because they have four accrued seasons. Roth, who has five, received the second-round tender of $1.801 million.

Had they not signed the tenders, their offers would've been reduced to 10 percent above their 2009 base salaries -- more than $1 million less for four of the five. Elam stood to lose the least, with a reduction to $1.65 million -- only about $100,000.

The others would've received the following: Jackson $704,000, Vickers $589,000, Harrison $593,000, and Roth.

Jackson was on his way to Sierra Leone, Africa yesterday to help his friend Madieu Williams of the Vikings open his school for the underprivileged and will be gone for two weeks. He said in a text, "I'm just ready to play ball again regardless of my circumstances."

His agent, Brian Mackler, was unhappy with the tactic on Friday, saying, "That letter has no positive effect on this situation," and "this will not sit well with D'Qwell."

But Monday, Mackler seemed resigned to Jackson playing out the tender if it comes to that. The Browns have also said they might consider extensions for the some of the former RFAs.

"D'Qwell was ready to get on with the season and let his play dictate his value," said Mackler. "D'Qwell is healthy and looking forward to having a Pro Bowl-caliber season. He feels the defense has a chance to be really good this season and he's excited to get back on the field."

Mackler said Jackson will not hold out of training camp for a new deal, which could cost a player up to $16,000 in fines per day.

None of the other agents or players were available and the Browns declined a request for comment. But high-profile agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents three of the newly-signed players -- Elam, Roth and Vickers -- made it clear to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal this week that the situation will make for some disgruntled campers.

"Every team in the NFL I can think of has a number of unhappy players," Rosenhaus told Mullen. "I don't think anyone who waits until June to sign a contract because there is a gun to his head is going to be happy."

He also cautioned that it could translate to the field.

"Players are not machines. They are human beings and they have emotions and it affects their performance. When you go to work and you are not happy, you don't perform as well."

It remains to be seen if any of the Rosenhaus trio will hold out of camp for a long-term deal. Vickers participated in some organized team activities and the full-squad minicamp, which means he's the most likely of the three to be on time for training camp.

Roth, claimed via waivers from the Dolphins last November, has asked to be traded. He is seeking a yearly average worth up to three times more than what he's making, a league source said. Heckert has said he will not trade Roth, who had four sacks in his six games with the Browns.

Elam, who said on his Web site that he's weighing his options, is also believed to be seeking a lucrative multi-year deal.

The Browns knew they were taking a calculated risk by sending the letter, with General Manager Tom Heckert telling the Plain Dealer last month, "nobody wants to go down that road because it brings bad blood. At the same time, we want the guys in here. I've talked to most of the [RFAs], or their agents. We're not in negotiations with any of them. But to say we won't do an extension, that's not the case, either."

If the hard feelings subside and the players get back to playing good football, the Browns can benefit greatly. Harrison rushed for 561 yards in the final three games of last season, and Vickers blasted open holes for many of those yards. Jackson, coming off surgery in October to repair a torn pectoral muscle, led the NFL with 188 tackles in 2008 and has been working out relentlessly this off-season.

"I'm setting the bar really high for myself," he said. "I don't think I've even come close to what I'm capable of yet."


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forechecker June 14, 2010 at 6:28PM

Yep, and they're too. My bad.

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pfbrn June 14, 2010 at 5:09PM

little late mary kay,ha tony's boy mangini leaked in on all bets are off,guess you all are steaming

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Teemstro June 14, 2010 at 11:41PM

Now...everyone can shut up about how "crappy" these guys are. They're Browns.

I wonder what UFA's we'll sign...T.O. anybody?

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MagicBus June 15, 2010 at 8:06PM

We just gotta follow the yellow brick road of Mike Shanahan. If he passed on T.O. THEN I SAY WE DO LIKEWISE. END OF STORY.

Just a reminder of Mike Shanahan's ( Who just about every poster didn't want, you moreons wanted Mike Holmgren and I to ya be careful what ya wished for) CURRENT BACKFIELD.

1- CLINTON PORTIS
2- BRIAN WESTBROOK
3- LARRY JOHNSON
4- WILLIE PARKER
5- DONOVAN MC NABB

NO WONDER HE TOOK A FREAKIN YEAR OFF, THE OFFENSE GENEIUS WANTED TO COME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE.

I DARE ANYONE TO SHOW ME IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL A BACKFIELD LIKE THAT. PLUS THEIR NOT WASHED UP LIKE YA THINK, EVERYONE CAN CONTRIBUTE BIG TIME IN SPOT SITUATIONS. OH, DID I MENTION SHANAHAN WITH THE #4 PICK TOOK THE MASSIVE OFFENSE TACKLE FROM OKLAHOMA, YA KNOW, THAT TRENT WILLIAMS DUDE.

I AM THE ONLY ONE CAN MATCH SHANAHAN OFFENSE PICK FOR OFFENSE PICK AND I AIN'T GOT CRAP TO SAY ABOUT NUTHIN BECAUSE THE FRON OFFICE NEVER RESPONDED TO MY OVER THAN 60 LETTERS I HAVE WRITTEN THEM GUARANTEEING THEM INSTANT SUCCESS.

MARY KAY, YOU TOO ARE AN OFFENSE GENEIUS, WHY DO YOU OMIT ME WHEN YOU TALK TO THE LOSERS HOLMGREN, MANGINI AND LERNER. I'M THE ONLY ONE CAN FIX THIS CRAP STINKIN TEAM. WE GOT TWO HORRIBLE QUARTERBACKS AND NO RECEIVERS AND WE ARE PLAYING IN A PASS FIRST LEAGUE. LOL.

YOURS TRULY,

MAGIC BUS. OFFENSIVE CAPO DI TUTTI CAPI

PS, THE LONGER THE WAIT, THE HIGHER MY ASKING PRICE.

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Ed in Naples June 14, 2010 at 5:13PM

Nice job of enhancing your careers, boys

What was Rosenhaus's strategy, other than hopefully using your stupidity, in hopes of his personal gain?

Rethink your relationship with him....after the possible lockout, and the changed world of NFL contracts thereafter, Rosenhaus' Hail Mary strategy which you bought into this time, will look like sheer buffoonery in the future.

Here is a hint of what is coming...rookie compensation slotting, and using the redistributed resources to better compensate proven veterans , on a scale of measurable indivdual accomplishments.

Rosenhause is a polar bear sitting on an ice flow, during global warming. Now is the time to save yourself.

Ed

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motleybrown June 14, 2010 at 5:29PM

Ed,

I agree... Cribbs time-line, in the NFL, should serve as a good example as to how one should prove that they; 1. Belong in the NFL and 2. That they are actually worth what they seek in a contract.

Welcome back Harrison, Vickers, Jackson, Roth and Elam!

I am very much looking forward to watching the play of the Brand New Cleveland Browns team (Spearheaded by the leadership of Holmgren and company).

Go Browns!

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suffersince64 June 14, 2010 at 10:20PM

Ed, the polar bear remark is priceless...and I wish I was an eskimo with a harpoon. Rosenhaus is a scurvy dog (lived in the Keys the last seven years and developed a pirate vernacular) and other agents in the same mold are becoming dinosaurs, and trust me, it will not take a cosmic event to make them all extinct.

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forechecker June 14, 2010 at 5:16PM

Mangini, it's all your fault they signed there tenders.

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duf56 June 14, 2010 at 5:21PM

Ed,

Well said.

Hey that rhymes!

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Ed in Naples June 14, 2010 at 5:23PM

And the schooling continues.

One comes on, and moans about a staring QB not being named out of OTA's,( harkening to Daja Vue)....and soon thereafter the Brown's 5 misquided RFA agents sign.

And in Brown's world headquarters, ....... instead of distributing this good news through the beat writer, lets just release it directly.....No linkage? Keep thinking that.

Ed

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nextyrpleeze June 14, 2010 at 5:26PM

Like we didn't see this coming,great for Harrison & Vickers ..... but as for Jackson & Elam..what are we to do W/ them??? Roth signed but still wants to be traded, do we really want a traiter???? They can still be cut or traded just going to take a wait & see attitude.

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kellyscott72 June 14, 2010 at 5:28PM

This makes no sense:
"tonight to sign or they would've had their offers reduced to 10 percent of their 2009 base salaries." That would mean if there base salary in 2009 was $1,000,000 there new contract would be for $100,000? I do not think that is correct!

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Ed in Naples June 14, 2010 at 5:31PM

Where is Dr Brown when we need him?lol

Research, and stats are his passion, and only he brings the truth.LOL


Ed

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talleric June 14, 2010 at 5:35PM

kelly, the offers would have been reduced to a 10% INCREASE of their 2009 salaries. They still would be paid more, but would make much, much less than the tenders they ended up signing.

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liferpart2 June 14, 2010 at 5:30PM

Nice to see an end to Roth and Elam's grandstanding. I guess they figured that they ain't gettin any younger.

Play hard, play well and get that big multi year deal. I LOVE to see guys in Brown & Orange in a contract year. It's a guarantee that they're going to give 110% everyday.

One year deals for EVERYONE!!!!!!

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