Garcia to Winslow: It's time to report
Cleveland's new quarterback said the tight end should put the team first.
BEREA (AP) -- Jeff Garcia delivered his message to Kellen Winslow Jr. with the pinpoint accuracy of a tight spiral.
As the rookie tight end's contract holdout with the Cleveland Browns approached one week, Garcia said it's time Winslow Jr. reported for training camp.
"It's important to get him here," the Browns' new quarterback said. "It's one of those things where you need to think about the team. You are going to get your riches no matter what, but you need to think about the team.
"This is a team game."
Meanwhile, Winslow's agent, Kevin Poston, asked the Browns for a contract similar to the six-year, $54.6 million deal that wideout Charles Rogers received last year from Detroit, The Associated Press has learned.
In his first proposal to the Browns, Poston, who also represents Rogers, sought a signing bonus of roughly $15 million for Winslow, said the league source, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Rogers, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 draft, received $14.4 million in guaranteed money from the Lions a year ago.
And with all the millions floating around, Garcia decided it was time to add his two cents.
Following Wednesday's morning practice, Garcia said he planned to call Winslow and urge him to join his teammates.
"Think about what you have to experience in terms of creating a team atmosphere and a team bond," said Garcia, who signed with Cleveland as a free agent in March. "It is not creating a really positive situation for him not being here in training camp because we are all out here sweating through it. It's important that he gets out here and joins in the mix with us."
There's no telling when that might happen since it appears Winslow Jr. and the Browns are millions of dollars apart.
Winslow, the No. 6 pick, has missed 10 practices in his holdout, which began on July 30 when Poston rejected the Browns' initial offer -- a six-year, $40 million deal that matched what Washington gave safety Sean Taylor, the No. 5 overall selection.
Taylor's bonus will exceed $13 million if he meets incentives.
The Washington Post reported that Taylor fired his agents, Jeff Moorad and Eugene Mato, because he was unhappy with his deal.
Although the Browns' offer to Winslow represents a 135-percent increase over the deal signed by last year's No. 6 pick, defensive tackle Jonathan Sullivan, it isn't enough for Kellen Winslow Sr.
The Hall of Famer has said publicly that he wants "fair market value" for his son. However, it's impossible to determine what that is since Poston isn't saying what he's after.
"No comment," Poston said when reached by the AP on Wednesday.
Since Poston turned down what the Browns called their "best offer," wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the No. 3 pick, signed a six-year, $60 million deal with Arizona that included $20 million in guaranteed money.
It's unclear if Fitzgerald's deal has affected talks between Browns president John Collins and Poston, a renowned tough negotiator who along with his brother, Carl, represents other prominent NFL clients currently in contract holdouts.
It's also hard to say what effect Garcia's plea will have on Winslow Jr.
At least one other Browns player said he wouldn't rush the former University of Miami star to sign.
"I can't tell him to get in here," said safety Earl Little, another ex-Hurricane. "He has the best leverage he could have. He sees all these young kids getting all this money. He has to take his time.
"The more he can get, the better for him. I'm happy for him."