Running back Jamal Lewis would like to finish his career with the Browns and wants his next contract to ensure that, agent Mitchell Frankel said Monday.
“Jamal played a long time in Baltimore and he’d like to make Cleveland his home for the rest of his career,” Frankel said in a phone interview. “We want to make something like that happen … with this contract.”
The Browns made an opening offer to Lewis last week, the terms of which Frankel wouldn’t reveal. Frankel said Lewis, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 29, is looking for three to five years. He’s expected to command about $5 million a year.
Lewis spent seven years in Baltimore before being released last offseason and signing a one-year deal with the Browns worth $5 million, including incentives he reached after rushing for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns. San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson were the only other backs with those numbers.
“Jamal had a really, really, really good season last season,” Frankel said. “Tomlinson and Peterson are pretty good company.
“Jamal feels he can improve and do even better next season. That’s his goal, and to help the Browns go to the playoffs and the Super Bowl.”
Frankel described the negotiations with the Browns as being in the “initial stages” and “nothing significant.” He said Lewis hopes to get a long-term deal done before free agency begins.
“I’m sure the Browns and us will be talking,” Frankel said. “Hopefully there’ll be enough time to get something done. At this point, we’re hopeful we’ll get it done. We haven’t had enough talks to indicate if we’ll be able to.”
Browns general manager Phil Savage didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
to Pro Bowl roster
Browns long snapper Ryan Pontbriand was named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster Monday. The San Diego Chargers coaching staff added him as a “player of need.”
Pontbriand was a fifth-round pick in 2003 and is the fourth Brown chosen for the Pro Bowl. He’s been a key member of the special teams since his rookie year and helped kicker Phil Dawson to a career-best 120 points in 2007.
“I’m thrilled. Making the Pro Bowl is a goal I was always hoping for but never thought I’d see this early in my career,” Pontbriand said in a statement. “To be selected means a lot because there are several excellent snappers in the AFC and a lot of longtime veterans who have been snapping well for many years. Phil Dawson, (punter) Dave Zastudil and the rest of the special teams unit deserve most of the credit. It’s going to be a memorable experience.”
Pontbriand joins kick returner Joshua Cribbs, receiver Braylon Edwards and left tackle Joe Thomas as the first Browns players selected to the Pro Bowl since linebacker Jamir Miller was named during the 2001 season. The last time the Browns had four players named to the Pro Bowl was following the 1994 season when they had six.
“Ryan has been amazingly consistent with his snapping ability over the years,” Savage said. “He is considered by many to be the best in the NFL, so it is only fitting that he is receiving the recognition of being a Pro Bowler.”
The Browns could have even more representatives in Hawaii on Feb. 10 as quarterback Derek Anderson, tight end Kellen Winslow and left guard Eric Steinbach are first alternates. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (ankle) and Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (toe) are candidates to decline the invitation.
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