It’s only a matter of time until we learn what team wide receiver Josh Cribbs will be signing with.
The latest on Cribbs is that there are two teams that the former Cleveland Browns wide receiver has narrowed it down to, with that teams being the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots.
Per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com:
#browns Josh Cribbs has it narrowed down to the patriots and cardinals right now, source told Pd.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 13, 2013
Cribbs, who will turn 30-years-old in June, has spent his entire eight year career with the Browns and emerged as one of the NFL’s top returners. Cribbs will enter his ninth season in the league with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns and a 25.9 average on kickoffs while returning three career punts back for touchdowns while averaging 11 yards per-return.
Cribbs is certainly a known commodity for kickoff and punt returns, but he hasn’t necessarily made an impact as a wide receiver. This past season in Cleveland, Cribbs recorded just seven receptions on 11 targets while recording 63 yards, which is an average of nine yards per-reception. The Kent State product’s top receiving year came in 2011 as he finished with 41 receptions on 67 targets for 518 yards and four touchdowns.
In all honesty, I’m really not sure why Cleveland never utilized Cribbs as a receiver despite the fact that he has the potential to be one of the league’s most explosive players.
If Cribbs were to choose to sign with the Patriots, then that would likely indicate that Julian Edelman would be parting ways with the team.
Cribbs would immediately step in as Edelman’s replacement, as he’s just as an effective return man, if not more, than Edelman and can certainly step into the offensive as a possible weapon for Tom Brady.
One interesting scenario that could come to shape is that Cribbs might not just be replacing Edelman, but he could also be replacing Wes Welker—as he’s “seriously considering bolting New England,” according to Albert Breer of NFL Network.
If that were the case, then Cribbs would definitely have his plate full in New England’s offense.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that Cribbs does have the potential to be a very effective slot receiver in New England’s passing attack, but he won’t be anything near the productive that we’ve seen from Welker the past couple of seasons.
Whether or not New England and Welker do reach an agreement, the addition of Cribbs would certainly be a wise decision for Bill Belichick.
In my opinion, the biggest difference between Cribbs and Edelman is that Cribbs has stayed healthy throughout his entire eight-year career, as he’s missed just three games, while Edelman has played in just 48 out of a possible 64 games.
Only time will tell whether or not Cribbs does decide to join the Patriots, but it will ultimately come down to if he wants more money with Arizona or if he wants to play with one of the league’s elite quarterbacks in Tom Brady.