FS Tashaun Gipson will sign his restricted free agent tender on Monday and be in Cleveland on Tuesday to join up with the rest of the Browns for OTAs. Gipson had already skipped voluntary workouts and stayed at home in Texas in the hopes of getting a new long term contract worked out with the Browns. Gipson was reportedly upset that the Browns had only put a second round tender on him rather a first round tender which saved them around $650,000. The reason Gipson decided to resign now was that if he didn’t by Tuesday the Browns would have had the option of decreasing the tender to 110% of Gipson 2014 or $660,000. Obviously resigning Gipson for at least one more season is a good thing after his breakout season but I can’t help wondering if it is a good or a bad thing?
Tashaun Gipson returns one of his 11 interceptions over the last two seasons – second only to Richard Sherman
It could be a good sign because it’s shows that he wants to be in Cleveland and is willing to work out a deal before or during the season. Rather than holding out through the rest of the OTAs and into training camp, he has decided to come back and help the Browns improve from last season. It also shows he doesn’t absolutely despise Cleveland and want to get out of here and there’s been no links with him to any other team either despite having the option to negotiate like Alex Mack did last year. This can only be seen as a positive in my eyes and shows how to Gipson wants to stay a part of one the best secondaries in the league.
I feel a little uneasy about as well because it’s only a one year deal. To see Gipson leave as he reaches his peak because the Browns won’t pay him when the Browns have one of the best situations in the league would very disheartening especially given how he has repaid the faith the Browns placed in him when they gave him a contract as an undrafted free agent and become a top 5 player at his position. To lose their Pro Bowl Free Safety would be a massive blow to Mike Pettine and his defence. While I understand that holding out is one of the few pieces of leverage a player has it still concerns me considering it has been about three months since the Browns offered the tender to Gipson and there must be a fundamental difference in how much Gipson should get paid. Gipson would probably be aiming at deal similar to Devin McCourty’s 5 year $45 million deal and I would be inclined to agree with him. GM Ray Farmer might be wary of giving such a deal though and might be thinking closer to $30/35 million over 5 years.
Although I do think that Gipson will get a new deal in Cleveland and will be here to stay, I think he may play out the tender to put pressure on the Browns to pay him.