BEREA — Receiver Joe Jurevicius has two years remaining on his four-year contract, but only one left in his 33-year-old body.
“One go-round, then probably hang ’em up,” he said Monday as the Browns cleaned out their lockers.
Jurevicius played all 16 games this season, with 12 starts. He had 50 catches for 614 yards and three touchdowns. He did his best work on third down, despite being slowed by a sore knee.
“Being the third receiver behind Kellen (Winslow) and Braylon (Edwards), I just had to produce and I think I did that for what my role is,” Jurevicius said. “I block and I know I can still play the game of football. If we were 4-12 again, maybe we’re having a different story.”
But the Browns went 10-6 and missed making the playoffs on a tiebreaker with Tennessee. Jurevicius promises more good things in the coming years.
“I do know I want to be a Cleveland Brown one more year and I want to get a taste of what I know we can get,” he said. “Don’t hang your heads. This was a pretty good football year.
“It was actually one of the most fun seasons I’ve had as a professional. We finally jelled as a team. It shows what happens when everybody has a common goal. This team’s going to go somewhere.”
Plenty of pain
Winslow was vague about his lingering injuries and what surgeries he would undergo in the offseason, but he’s certainly in a lot of pain.
“You guys don’t know what’s going on with the knee,” he said. “I’m not going to explain it. I’m just playing through pain, so I just have to get it looked at and see what I can do.”
Winslow’s right knee was mangled in a motorcycle accident and has gone through a series of surgeries, including a microfracture procedure last offseason. He hurt his left shoulder in Week 3 but was able to play the rest of the year.
Winslow was asked if he’ll be in less pain next year.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’m going to play anyway. I hope so, but we’ll see.”
Running back Jamal Lewis is the team’s most significant unrestricted free agent. He signed a one-year, $5 million deal in March and rushed for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns. He said Sunday that he would like to come back.
“The contract may be the issue there,” coach Romeo Crennel said. “I think that Jamal enjoys playing here. I think that he enjoys the coaching staff and the offense. If it’s right, I think he would like to be back. The two sides will have to get together and see what we can come up with.”
Jurevicius said Lewis is also valuable off the field.
“What’s so special about Jamal is he’s a leader,” he said. “He’s kind of a quiet warrior, but he’s a leader out there. Guys respond to him.”
Joshua Cribbs totaled the second-most kickoff return yards in NFL history with 1,809. MarTay Jenkins had 2,189 yards for Arizona in 2000.
Cribbs is only the second player in NFL history to average better than 30 yards per kickoff return and more than 10 yards per punt return. He averaged 30.7 and 13.5. Terry Metcalf averaged 31.2 and 13.1 in 1974 for St. Louis. Metcalf is the father of former Browns special teams ace Eric.
Cribbs is going to the Pro Bowl on Feb. 10 and said he’ll take his mother, father and two coaches.
Crennel said he expects 36-year-old linebacker Willie McGinest to fulfill the final year of his contract, which would pay him $2.9 million.
• Starting nose tackle Ethan Kelley, reserve linebacker Chaun Thompson, fourth cornerback Daven Holly and third receiver Tim Carter are other noteworthy free agents.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.