When it was first reported that they Arizona Cardinals were signing free agent wide receiver and kick returner Josh Cribbs to a contract, Cardinals fans had to be excited. Cribbs has been one of the most electrifying return men in all of the NFL during his 8-year career. He’s also been an untapped resource as a full time wide receiver, but has shown flashes of greatness. But now there appears to be a bit of a snag in Cribbs becoming a Cardinal.
Last year Cribbs had surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and according to published reports he hasn’t fully healed. Not a big deal considering it’s only March, and there’s little doubt that Cribbs will be ready for the start of the 2013 season. But with Cribbs reportedly unable to pass the Cardinals physical, the entire process is on hold.
There have been some conflicting reports as to exactly what happened, but Cribbs’ agent J.R. Ricker has reported that the Cardinals want to wait for the knee to heal fully before committing to a contract. This would also likely preclude Cribbs signing with any other teams during this time as well, should Cribbs decide not to wait.
My take: I’ve always been a Cribbs fan. And I always thought that he was a quality guy for sticking it out in Cleveland as long as he did, even though his team struggled to remain competitive. Now that he has a chance to move on with his career, I’m a little shocked that he’s considering doing it with another team with a history of futility.
One would think that Cribbs could be a weapon for some playoff contender, especially as a kick returner; but also as a slot receiver. So, while I hope Cribbs is able to make a full recovery and play at full strength this season, I do question his choice of team. As far as the signing itself, this is just due diligence by the Browns. While we all accept that Cribbs should return to full strength, there’s no reason to sign him to a big contract until they are sure their investment is healthy and read to go.