Report: Restricted free agent Tashaun Gipson a no-show at OTA’s


The Cleveland Browns Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) started today at Browns Headquarters in Berea. Most of the Browns team was in attendance to get the 2015 season off on the right-foot with one minor exception, Pro Bowl safety Tashaun Gipson was absent. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: Tashaun Gipson, a restricted free agent, is a no-show at the Browns offseason program.

Gipson’s absence comes as no surprise to many, as the Restricted Free Agent has yet to sign the second-round tender that the Browns placed on him back on March 9th. Gipson is not required to be at OTA’s since the program is optional, but the majority of players do try to attend. ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi put the situation into perspective by stating that “By not signing the Browns Restricted Free Agent contract tender, Gipson can be absent from voluntary workouts, OTAs, June mini camp, without consequence.”

The key date for Browns fans is April 24th, which is the Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets, which means another team could match up-until that deadline. Based on the limited activity that we have heard so far this off-season don’t worry too much. The Browns 2nd round tender has seemed to keep competing teams at bay and we expect that deadline will come and go with no activity. If that deadline comes without incident Gipson will be locked in for at least one more season with the Browns. The second-round tender would pay Gipson $2.356 million in 2015 if Gipson doesn’t get a long-term deal with the Browns or another team. The Browns do have the right to match any offer made to Gipson, and if they don’t, the new team would have to give the Browns a second-round pick.

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If the Browns try to get a long-term contract done with Gipson, the closet player to his caliber that recently got a deal done this off-season was New England Patriots’ safety Devin McCourty. The Patriots were able to re-sign prior to free agency to a five years, $47.5 million, including an impressive $15 million signing bonus and $28.5 million guaranteed. McCourty’s $9.5 million a year average makes him the second-highest-paid safety in the league, but McCourty did not nearly have the stats that Gipson had. Over the past two seasons McCourty has three interceptions compared to Gipson’s eleven.

Gipson was undrafted free agent that signed with the Browns in 2012, he battled his way from special teams to eventually take over as the starter in his 2nd season with the Browns. Gipson has paid his dues while make the league minimum salaries. It’s definitely time to get him paid and locked-in to a long term deal while the Browns have the cap-space to do it. The ACL injury could be a concern for the Browns, and could ultimately mean less guaranteed money for Gipson. If the Browns choose to take the safe route then they need to pack in the incentives in the contract with extra benchmarks to make up for the loss of guaranteed money. If he they ar unable to work out a long-term deal Gipson can play out his tender, and be an unrestricted free agent next offseason. The Browns would then be forced to use the Franchise Tag, (Around $10 million), if that does happen, he could walk. The Browns should avoid the drama and get him lock-in for the long haul.

How do you feel about Tashaun Gipson missing Organized Team Activities?

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