Isaiah Crowell has yet to sign the contract tender offered by the Cleveland Browns, meaning a holdout could be in store for the 2017 season.
Cleveland Browns fans are still excited about the 2017 draft class, but there is one player already on the roster who may start to worry fans as training camp approaches.
Isaiah Crowell is currently a restricted free agent and hasn’t signed the contract tender given to him by the Browns this offseason. The one-year offer, worth $2.81 million, would keep him in Cleveland for the 2017 season before he became an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
The fact he hasn’t signed is interesting as he risks lowering his value if a holdout is where this path is headed.
The other option is that Crowell is looking for a multi-year extension, as the life of a running back is not a secure career, and he may want more guaranteed money than what is in the tender.
There has not been much talk about this by the front office, although a recent interview with Sashi Brown shed some light on the topic.
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This may be just a case of Crowell and his agent seeking an extension with the intent of re-signing the tender regardless, but it is still a bit concerning. Brown obviously didn’t want to create a story out of the situation, but it is odd that the team’s starting running back hasn’t committed to the team for 2017.
The only addition the Browns made at running back in the draft was by selecting Matthew Dayes in the seventh round. If the team had selected Dalvin Cook or Leonard Fournette, Crowell may be worried his value would fall before he hit free agency.
But Crowell is still set to enter this season as the starting running back after a 2016 season in which he ran for 952 yards on just 198 carries.
He put up solid numbers even though the offense frequently abandoned the running game, so this season should be one where he easily breaks the 1,000-yard mark and increases his value even further.
Duke Johnson is the only sure thing behind Crowell, meaning the team needs Crowell to sign this tender, or an extension, and be back in town for training camp. It is only May so there is still plenty of time, but it is never good to see a starting player headed toward a potential holdout.