Earlier this month, just as the new braintrust in Cleveland was being ushered into Berea, the agents for Josh Cribbs launched a media blitz to show just how unfairly they thought their client was being treated by the Browns. Before Mike Holmgren could even fill out his front office roster, Cribbs' and his camp demanded a new contract. The two sides engaged in long staring contest, and in the heat of the moment it seemed nothing would ever get done. Dawn Aponte, now with the Dolphins, made the infamous "final offer" comments. Cribbs cleaned out his locker and told everyone he doubted that he'd be back with the Browns next year. His agents said they would ask for a trade without a new deal. It was going to BE THE END OF THE WORLD?!
Of course, rational people figured that while Cribbs' negotiating strategy was probably ill-advised, things would calm down, Holmgren would get things settled in Berea, and the two would come back to the table later on with clearer heads and get a deal done.
That seems to be exactly what's happening. Holmgren has said in numerous media interviews that he wants Cribbs back next year.
From a National Football Post article:
“Holmgren came in and made a lot of changes; the offer that was made to me was made by people who are no longer there,” Cribbs said. “Holmgren reached out to my people and said he was going to right the ship and make it right. I’m going to give him a clean slate, give him the benefit of the doubt, until he gives me a reason not to.”
Now, flash back to earlier this month when everyone was in an uproar about the Browns' apparent refusal to do right by Josh Cribbs. It was then that Dawg Pound Mike launched a collection to fund a billboard to be placed somewhere around town, because, apparently, Holmgren's decision making is easily swayed by billboards.
Well, the billboard is finally going to become a reality, complete with the design posted above. Perfect timing, right? All sides seem happy and committed and confident in their ability to get something done soon. Cooler heads have prevailed. The manufactured craziness is in the rearview mirror. Billboard time!
Now, to be fair, using a billboard to tackle a time-sensitive news topic is probably not the best idea in the world — there's the fundraising, the design, the approval, getting the space, and the actual installation. You run the risk of it being completely irrelevant, as this one surely will be, by the time it's up. But what are you going to do? You begged fans for their cash and promised that this great travesty of not paying a millionaire athlete more millions of dollars would be addressed publicly with a billboard. You can't not put it up at that point.
Which reminds me, I finally raised enough money for my "Dear Mark, Please Keep CC in Cleveland" billboard. It should be installed across from the Jake very soon!