The New England Patriots interest in former Cleveland Browns returner Josh Cribbs is real, and Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported yesterday that the Pats are even the favorites to land Cribbs. The San Francisco 49ers were in the mix, but they are no longer involved as Cribbs is down to the Arizona Cardinals and Patriots.
This is all very interesting, because the Browns said “no” to Cribbs after he demanded too much money for a return specialist. The Browns didn’t want to pay too much for a guy who doesn’t make an impact on offense, and that’s what led to Cribbs hitting free agency. The Patriots don’t usually like to sign guys who don’t make much of an impact outside of special teams, so they might have a plan for Cribbs as a No. 4 or 5 wideout in certain packages- which would mean Josh McDaniels can get creative.
If the Patriots do sign Cribbs, then Jeff Demps will most likely be cut from the New England Patriots. The fact that he wants to do both track and football probably doesn’t sit too well with the Pats, and Cribbs is more of a known commodity on returns too. Demps has upside, but the Pats might be leery about his contributions on offense as well. Plus, all of Demps’s guaranteed money has been spent, so the only thing the Pats would lose is the chance at developing Demps.
But of course, the fact that Demps wants to do track as well likely makes it harder for the Pats to develop him. As he is busy focusing on another sport, the Pats won’t have has much time to see if he can learn the offense better or make an impact as an RB. It’s all interesting, but Cribbs would likely come in as the team’s prime returner, Demps would get cut, and Cribbs would also find a way to play in certain sets as a “wildcard” receiver of sorts.
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