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Pro Bowl return man Cribbs asks Browns to redo contract

Pro Bowler Joshua Cribbs has made an unexpected return at the Cleveland Browns.

BEREA, Ohio -- Pro Bowler Joshua Cribbs has made an unexpected return at the Cleveland Browns.

Cribbs, one of the NFL's premier special teams players who took back two kickoffs and a punt for touchdowns last season, said Tuesday that his agent has asked the club to restructure the six-year contract extension he signed during the 2006 season.

That might be asking a lot since Cribbs, considered the AFC's top return man, still has five years remaining on the deal, which is worth around $6 million.

Following practice, Cribbs said his agent, Peter Schaffer, has approached the Browns about a new contract. Cribbs recently switched agents after being represented by Andre Colona.

Last season, the 25-year-old Cribbs, who was signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State in 2005, was the only player to lead his team in kickoff return yards, punt return yards and special teams tackles. His 1,809 yards on kick returns set a franchise record and were the second most in league history.

The breakout season earned him a trip to Hawaii, where he joked with Chicago's Devin Hester about who is the best returner.

Hester recently signed a reported four-year, $40 million contract, a deal that didn't go unnoticed by Cribbs.

"I couldn't help but notice," Cribbs said with a smile. "I was happy for him. He deserved every bit of it. He's a great talent and it's good to see another returner get his pay."

Schaffer would not comment specifically on Cribbs' demands or negotiations.

"We have no public statement at this time," Schaffer said. "Everyone is optimistic and it's Josh's goal to win a Super Bowl with the Browns this year."

Cribbs said he doesn't want to be a distraction to the Browns, who have high expectations after going 10-6 last season and barely missing the playoffs. He's letting Schaffer handle talks with the Browns' front office while he prepares for the upcoming season.

"He's talking to the Browns' management every day and something will happen," he said. "If it don't, I'll still be out here playing football for the Browns, I know that."

It's unlikely the Browns would consider reworking Cribbs' deal this soon. They've already given him the extension through 2012 and they have other players who are a high priority to sign.

Cribbs said he doesn't regret signing the long-term deal so early in his career.

"I regret a lot of things, but playing for the Cleveland Browns, I don't regret that," he said. "I love playing here. I'm just happy to be out here. Anything that goes on off the field I'm sure my agent will handle, and I'm sure the Browns will put me in a better situation so we can win football games."

Cribbs said he would not be bitter if the Browns decided not to tear up his old deal.

"I'm blessed to be where I am now," he said. "Look where I started out, having nothing. I came in and got a $5,000 signing bonus and I was blessed to have that. I'm too blessed to be stressed."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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