It looks like the longer that the Browns’ restricted free agents wait to sign contracts, the lower their 2010 salaries might be. Browns GM Tom Heckert has mentioned that the team has considered reducing tender offers if players don’t show up by June 15th. The Browns’ restricted free agents – Jerome Harrison, Lawrence Vickers, D’Qwell Jackson, Abe Elam, and Matt Roth – could opt to sit out the team’s minicamps and workouts, but they all risk losing a substantial amount of money if they do so.
This doesn’t mean the Browns wouldn’t want to potentially offer these players long-term deals in the future, or possibly even now, but it’s also a signal that the front office wants these guys to be involved as soon as possible. The team doesn’t want to get involved in long contract disputes that keep players off the field, and it’s a good strategy by the front office. Too often do players use the off-season as leverage against teams, so I don’t think it’s all that unfair to want this figured out before June 15th.