Josh Cribbs: I'll take pay cut to stay in Cleveland

Josh Cribbs envisions a bigger offensive role under Browns coordinator Norv Turner. (USATSI)

Josh Cribbs really wants to stay in Cleveland.

The three-time Pro Bowler -- who ranked fourth in the NFL with 27.4 yards per kickoff return and sixth with 12 yards per punt return last season -- acknowledged he doesn’t detect much interest from upper management in having him back. He’s trying to stir up their interest.

“My plan is to stay with the team as much as possible, even to take a slight pay cut,” Cribbs said on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, via “But at the same time, not huge paycuts. And I’m trying to work with the team. I want to be a Brown. I want to end my career here. We have the coaches to do it now, to take it to the next level, and I definitely want to be there.”

Cribbs envisions a bigger offensive role under new coordinator Norv Turner. After catching 41 balls for 518 yards and four touchdowns in 2011, Cribbs had seven catches for 63 yards last season.

“I worked with Coach Turner at the Pro Bowl a couple years ago and I definitely know that they can help me succeed and use me like I should be used,” Cribbs said. “And hopefully we can get this contract thing worked out.”

Problem is, Cribbs is viewed as a return specialist and the NFL devalued returners by changing the kickoff rules.

Cribbs went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate, replacing the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones. Cribbs, who turns 30 in June, will be an unrestricted free agent after eight seasons in Cleveland. reported Cribbs was seeking $1.8 million-$2 million annually in a new deal, a price the Browns are unlikely to pay. The report said the 49ers and Chargers have expressed interest in Cribbs.

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