Derry: He's Not Ocho Winslow... Yet.

OBR columnist Frank Derry takes a look at murmurs from Kellen Winslow's camp about a new contract. Is Winslow justified in asking for a new deal? Or is this just a selfish act by a self-absorbed player? Here's Frank's take...

Hey, did you hear the one about the pro athlete who had a good season and immediately wanted to renegotiate his contract? Even after he failed to play up to his potential for the first three years of his career due?

Unfortunately, it's no joke.

It seems like every year we are subjected to the whining of athletes who, even though they are under contract, either want to get a new and improved deal, get traded, or both.

Thus far, Kellen Winslow Jr., hasn't issued a trade demand. But for a guy who has, in my opinion, already struck out with many Browns fans, a holdout that includes a demand to be traded would simply by the icing on the cake.

Winslow, the Browns' first-round draft choice in 2004, had strike one on him before he ever played in a game. That's because he chose to be a holdout from training camp his rookie season. The only thing he caught during his holdout was the wrath of then-Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia, who openly criticized the son of Hall of Famer KellenWinslow Sr.

Winslow, who had gained a reputation of being a selfish athlete while playing for the Miami Hurricanes, certainly did nothing to change those views by his untimely holdout.

Winslow's second strike came when he once again put his own self ahead of the team by recklessly riding a super-charged motorcycle following the 2004 season, a season in which he only played in only two games due to a right fibula injury he suffered in Week 2.

 

He's managed to come back from the extensive injuries suffered in his careless accident, but he's admittedly not the same player he was prior to his ill-advised adventures.

Now, as the Browns approach what promises to be a very exciting season, it sounds like he's willing to take a called third strike by putting his own selfish desires ahead of the good of the team.

If he misses any time whatsoever due to his hopes to renegotiate his contract, it will, in my opinion, be the final straw. It will show once and for all that, no matter what he has said over the past couple of years and no matter how good the team might be, that he is still a selfish, self-centered prima donna who cares more about himself than his teammates, coaches and, oh yeah, the fans.

The Browns were concerned enough that general manager Phil Savage had to mortgage a small part of the team's future in order to move up in this year's draft to pick tight end Martin Rucker out of the University of Missouri in the fourth round.

The trade cost the Browns a third-round pick next year. Not exactly an earth-shaking trade by any means, but one that apparently the team deemed necessary due in part of Winslow's public announcement that he wants a new contract. To be fair, it was also in part due to the fact both Winslow and backup tight end Steve Heiden will probably be limited in upcoming camps due to off-season surgeries.

It should be noted that Winslow's surgery was his fourth that is a direct result of his motorcycle accident. It also must be noted that he has three years remaining on his contract. And it also needs to be noted that he did play in his first Pro Bowl this past February, albeit as an alternate.

Is Winslow worth more money just because San Diego tight end Antonio Gates suffered an injury that kept him out of the Pro Bowl and opened the door for the Browns' tight end?

There doesn't seem to be much logic in that. Nor is there much logic in tearing up the contract of a guy who never has and likely never will live up to his potential due, as previously mentioned, to his own selfish, self-centered prima donna attitude?

Probably the best thing I can say about Kellen Winslow Jr., is that at least he's not as openly arrogant and as much of a trouble maker as Chad Johnson … at least not yet.

 

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