For The Browns, Edwards Will Be The Franchise’s Future; Not Winslow

By Gregory Moore
Updated: August 22, 2005

SAN ANTONIO – Maybe Kellen Winslow and his family might want to rethink their strategy for next season and come into the 2006 training camp with the Cleveland Browns humble and hungry.

They want to take this strategy because it looks like if Braylon Edwards continues to out jump defenders like he did in Saturday’s win over the Detroit Lions this season, the former Miami Hurricane may be the odd man out on who is the superstar of the Browns next season.

Maybe one pre-season game shouldn’t be worrying the Winslows but I’ve got a new found appreciation for a first round pick coming out and setting the tone for his team. Rookies shouldn’t be doing that during any part of the season but it was definitely a sight for wearied eyes as the seven yard fade route was exciting to see from an organization that isn’t known for flashy players.

Romeo Crennel has got a player who wants to play football and make a mark early in his career. Can you say Rookie of the Year mention by week five? I thought you could.

GREED WILL GET YOU CUT OUT OF MILLIONS Okay it’s time for my weekly diatribe on greedy players who think they are worth more than what is on their contract. First in my sightlines for this week is Antonio Gates, the talented tight end for the San Diego Chargers. Gates seems to have a touch of the loopies as he figures that he deserves a new deal after one good season of spectacular play.

It’s not that Gates doesn’t deserve a new deal but what he and so many other of these young players have to realize is that in order to get he new deal, you have to sign these one year tenders first. Oftentimes these tender sheets aren’t worth diddlysquat but are along the same lines of what you were paid previously. In Gates’ case it is a sheet worth $380,000. Gates wants a long-term deal that has more upfront money. As of this writing, it seems that his hold out with the club may be over.

Let’s hope so because the success of the Chargers depends on him being healthy and putting up good numbers again this year. One this is certain on this front however and that is players like Gates need to stay abreast of what the process is going to entail. Because he and/or his agent didn’t respond before Saturday’s game, Gates will sit out three games. Rules are rules gentlemen and ladies and these players need to realize that.

Okay the next player lined up in my sights from about 1,600 yards away is Cedric Benson. I’ve been reading what his agent, Eugene Parker, has said about where he stands as an agent and his principles. I admire that from Parker but this is the real world and it is time for Parker to get his young players to understand that.

More importantly, Benson needs to stop listening to family and friends because nobody in that camp has EVER made the type of money that the Chicago Bears is offering. I say that because unlike what many say in other circles on the shelf life of running backs, Benson has yet to even take a hand off on the playing field at Hallas Hall, let alone at Soldier Field.

Until he does, the posturing he is trying to assert is meaningless and fruitless from this observation point. We all know that the longevity of a running back is around 5.3 seasons in the NFL so Benson needs to secure his future earlier than some of his teammates.

However, that means he needs to be smart too. He’s not the quarterback or the savior of the franchise. To get that type of money, he needs to prove himself and that is something that nobody has seen as this writing. Get your behind in camp Cedric and maybe others will listen to your demands AFTER you have proven yourself a couple of seasons.

WHERE FREAK ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, SOLACE CAN BE FOUND As many of you already know, the San Francisco 49ers lost a player in Saturday’s pre-season game. Thomas Herrion’s death is very much a mystery considering the fact that he was playing in mild temperatures with 50% humidity in the air.

Yet could the fact of the sea level at Mile High stadium be a contributing factor? Nobody knows and with the remembrance of Korey Stringer’s death still very much on the minds of those who are in the NFL trenches, this very shocking death just sends everyone scrambling for answers.

But to the Herrion family, condolences must be sent out because they are experiencing something that is very much in the back of every family’s mind when one of their loved ones plays football. The “what if my family member dies from playing the game he loves” is so real that Herrion’s death just brings that realization just a little bit closer.

Equipment manufacturers like Schutt have developed safer, lighter, stronger equipment to try and absorb the tremendous pounding these players are exerting on each other but no one has a sure fire answer of stopping such a tragedy like what has happened in the Herrion family.

The only thing we all can do is simply pray small prayers for the family’s healing and well being and be ever vigilant that even though this may be just a game, sometimes this game can turn violent without no one being the wiser. Let’s hope that Thomas’ family can find the strength to endure and preserve his memories for years to come.

LOOKING TO ‘VANQUISH’ A FORMER PLAYER Is there a way the University of Nebraska can erase the records that Lawrence Phillips set while a Cornhusker? What about the records that he set over in NFL Europe. As a matter of fact is there a way where anyone who was associated with him get a free pass to do things over again without Phillips even being in the photos?

Well since there is not, I am bequeathing a request from the league’s offices: please ban Lawrence Philips from ever getting another paycheck in this league? Phillips needs professional counseling, medical treatment, and just an all around good talking to because his actions are scary for even the most patient of individuals.

Phillips is such a loose cannon that he is a danger to himself and to society. Anyone who tells police he will not be taken into custody calmly is ready to commit ‘suicide by cop’ and is someone who will try to do such a task just because that is what has popped in his head at that moment.

Phillips needs psychological treatment and somebody in the NFL’s player union should be looking into that. You have to take care of your own even when you don’t want to and if it means that somebody has to baby-sit a grown ass man, make sure they are paid for and he is heavily medicated when he’s around people.

Nobody wants to write off individuals but I think in this case, we can safely assume that we need to write him off from society but there has to be something that will trigger this individual to realize that he is ruining his life on more than the three strikes rule in California. He is a batterer and something most be done. That is up to the authorities but hopefully his name won’t continue to show up in the sports wires.