BEREA Finally! Browns' Green signs five-year contract
The running back will likely boost the worst rushing attack in the AFC.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BEREA -- William Green will now be making a lot of green.
The Browns running back agreed to terms on a five-year, $7.85 million dollar contract Saturday, ending his five-day holdout. The deal is actually for seven years, but the final two years will be voided if Green meets some early incentives.
"I am glad the deal is done," Browns coach Butch Davis said. "I felt confident things would work out. The upside is William will be here for a significant amount of training camp."
According to team spokesman Todd Stewart, the deal is 10 percent higher than the one the Jets gave Santana Moss -- the 16th overall pick in 2001. The contract contains escalator clauses for the fourth and fifth seasons.
Green, the 16th overall pick out of Boston College, is expected to team with running back James Jackson and third down specialist Jamel White to boost a rushing attack that ranked last in the AFC last season. The 6-foot-1, 221-pounder rushed for 1,559 yards and scored 15 TDs as a junior.
Jackson was the feature back last season and said he's not threatened by the drafting of Green.
"That just gives me a little push," he said.
Green's agent Tom Condon has had a good relationship with the Browns in the past -- he also represents quarterback Tim Couch and receiver Kevin Johnson.
Johnson is seeking a contract extension and Condon recently turned down a three-year, $10 million deal.
"This is where I want to be," Johnson said. "I've been here since the start and I've seen how we've developed. I have a great relationship with Couch. I obviously feel this is the place for me."
The team also ranked last in total offense last season and Couch needs another wideout to complement Johnson. Second-year receiver Quincy Morgan wants to be that guy.
"I'm a lot more confident this season," Morgan said. "I'm more comfortable with the offseason and things have soaked in a little more."
Davis said he's noticed an improvement in Morgan's play since last year.
"His consistency level has improved and he's worked hard in minicamps and quarterback school," coach Butch Davis said. "His overall level is a step up. He's making plays."
Morgan will compete with third-year receivers Dennis Northcutt and Jajuan Dawson and rookie Andre Davis for playing time.
Northcutt has been a disappointment since being drafted in the second round in 2000, but Davis isn't ready to give up on him.
"I don't think we've seen the best out of Dennis Northcutt," he said.
If the Browns are to improve on last year's 7-9 record, at least one of those receivers will need to have a breakout season.
"I don't think coach is looking at jersey numbers right now," Johnson said. "He just wants to see who can play."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.