CLEVELAND -- Choosing Kellen Winslow Jr. was easy for the
Cleveland Browns. Signing him may not be.
The Browns traded a second-round pick, swapped first-rounders
with Detroit and used the No. 6 overall selection in last weekend's
NFL draft to select Winslow, a tight end with Hall of Fame pedigree
But before Winslow can begin living up to expectations, the
Browns will have to negotiate a long-term contract with his agent,
Kevin Poston, who in the hours after the draft began laying down
some parameters for talks.
"A lot of teams had him (Winslow) No. 1 on their board," said
Poston, who along with his brother, Carl, are known for driving a
The Postons also represent St. Louis tackle Orlando Pace, who
was franchised by the Rams and is seeking more money. Other Poston
clients include New England cornerback Ty Law, San Francisco
linebacker Julian Peterson and Washington linebacker LaVar
Arrington. All have had contract problems.
The Redskins are currently in a dispute with the Postons, who
filed a grievance on Arrington's behalf that claims the team owes
him more than $6.5 million.
Shortly after arriving in Cleveland last Saturday, Winslow said
he planned to report to training camp on time -- as long as he got a
"The way I see it," said the Miami product and son of Hall of
Famer Kellen Winslow Sr., "you need to give me No. 6 pick money.
Look at last year's No. 6 pick, and I'm in camp."
Last year's sixth selection, Georgia defensive tackle Johnathan
Sullivan, got a seven-year, $19.1 million contract from New
Orleans, including an $11.4 signing bonus.
The usual starting point for the next class is 10 percent over
the previous year.
However, Poston has already indicated Winslow may be an
exception to that rule.
"Kellen could easily be the LeBron James of the Browns,"
Poston said, referring to the Cavaliers' rookie of the year. "He's
that talented. When you negotiate with top-value players, to come
up with that value is not easy. My job is to make sure he gets a
Last summer, the Browns had a tough time signing their draft
picks, and none of the 2003 class matched Winslow's high profile.
Cleveland took the unusual step of signing players to five-year
contracts. Typically, low-round picks -- after the first and second
round -- sign two- and three-year deals so it doesn't affect their
fourth year when they are eligible for free agency.
Center Jeff Faine, the No. 21 overall pick a year ago, missed
the first week of training camp in a contract holdout. If the
Browns don't get a deal done quickly with Winslow, his holdout
could exceed Faine's by several weeks.
The Postons were able to get their top rookie client, wide
receiver Charles Rogers, into Detroit's camp last summer after a
Kevin Poston couldn't promise he'd do the same for Winslow. Not
without the Browns' help anyway.
"It takes two to dance," he said.
Browns coach Butch Davis doesn't think Winslow's contract will
be a problem. But it's only April, and there's no urgency with
training camp nearly three months away.
Winslow will be at mini-camp this weekend with Cleveland's other
draft picks, free agents and veterans. Attendance is mandatory, so
Winslow has to show up.
It may be the last time the Browns see him for a while.