"I don't know where my career ... what path I would be taking if I'm playing in Cleveland right now. Honestly," Gipson, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, said on ESPN's Freddie and Fitz radio show. "You look at it and you say, 'I don't know what they were thinking.' But it's motivation. It's motivation right now because they don't have a safety on their roster that can do the things that I do."
He said more in a story here by my ESPN colleague in Jacksonville, Mike DiRocco, including that he hopes the Jaguars "hang 40" on the Browns when the two teams play on Sunday in Cleveland, and the Browns should be unable to score on the Jacksonville defense.
Gipson was one of four starters from the 2015 Browns who became free agents in March of 2016. The Browns chose not to re-sign Gipson, tackle Mitchell Schwartz, center Alex Mack and receiver Travis Benjamin in lieu of stockpiling compensatory draft picks to rebuild the roster in what owner Jimmy Haslam called "a multiyear rebuild."
Mack was weary of losing and seemed determined to find a new team, but Gipson, Schwartz and Benjamin all were open to staying with the Browns had they agreed to contracts.
All four signed on the first day of free agency, showing that even bad teams have players who are highly regarded by other teams. Gipson wound up in Jacksonville with a $35.5 million deal.
"It's a blessing to get out of a situation like that. It's a blessing to get out of Cleveland," Gipson said. "And that's to not say anything about the city, man. Because when I was there, man, I love the fans. They got loyal fans there.
"But it's a blessing to get out of that situation that the front office is doing there. You look at it and you look back and the guys who were able to walk out of that building should have never walked out of that building."
Gipson mentioned cornerback Joe Haden as another player who should have stayed with the Browns. Haden was released before the season and signed with the Steelers. Gipson said he talked to Haden when the Jaguars played the Steelers and Haden's comment was, "Man, I'm so happy." He said he has heard the same from Schwartz.
"It says a lot," Gipson said. "These are good guys. These aren't rotten apples in organizations. Joe Haden was a good guy. Travis Benjamin, Mitchell Schwartz, these are good. If these guys are happy and these guys are thriving in their new environment, I mean it says a lot about what's going on internally inside that building."
Gipson is not the first player to be critical of his former team, and he has never been afraid to speak his mind as a player. He signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent and went to the Pro Bowl in 2014. He struggled with injury in 2015, then joined the Jaguars. The Browns are 1-24 the past two seasons.
"You look at it, man. It sucks," Gipson said. "Because they got good players on the team that probably never get the due that they deserve. Isaiah Crowell. Christian Kirksey. Guys like that, who probably never get the due that they deserve.
"Because they're playing for an 0-9 team. Probably an 0-16 team, realistically. I mean, people say their next chance to win a football game is probably against the Jaguars, which probably ain't going to happen. They're probably going to finish 0-16.
"So you look at things like that, man, just a blessing to be able to get out of that situation and come to a situation like this where you know what winning feels like."
The Jaguars were 3-13 in Gipson's first season, but have started 6-3 this season.
"You look back on it and you say there's a reason why they won one game over the past X amount of -- 30 games," Gipson said. "And that's the one team that hasn't progressed and essentially regressed since 2015."