BEREA, Ohio (AP) — After missing most of the offseason program, safety Tashaun Gipson is hopeful of reaching a long-term agreement with the Cleveland Browns before the start of the regular season.
Gipson says he can’t be bitter about the situation.
“I know that one day, hopefully, eventually rather sooner than later, we can get something worked out, and this will be something that’s far in the past,” Gipson said. “They’ve got to make the right moves for the team and I’ve got to do what’s best for me going forward.”
Gipson, who made the Pro Bowl last season, signed his second-round restricted tender last Friday after arriving at the team facility.
As mandatory minicamp began on Tuesday, Gipson was on an exercise bike instead of the field due to a hamstring injury. Gipson said that had this been the regular season, he would have been on the field.
Browns coach Mike Pettine said Gipson was limited because he had not practiced during voluntary workouts. Jordan Poyer has been taking snaps with the first team in Gipson’s absence.
“It is disappointing when a guy is not here to (eventually) show up with something,” Pettine said of Gipson.
Despite playing in only 11 games last season, Gipson finished second in the NFL with six interceptions and was the first undrafted Browns player to be selected to the Pro Bowl in 23 years. He also had a fumble recovery and ran back an interception for a touchdown. Gipson suffered an MCL injury to his right knee and missed the last five games, though injury did not require offseason surgery.
With 11 interceptions over the past two seasons, Gipson could be one of the most sought-after free agents next year. That’s one reason he is confident in playing under the $2.4 million restricted tender if a new deal can’t be reached. Gipson did say he was frustrated over receiving the restricted tender but that he is focused on the upcoming season.
“The safety market is going up and I’m confident in what I can do, especially in year two (in this system),” Gipson said. “The league is starting to take slight notice. I still feel like I’ve still got to earn the respect a little more, but I’m confident in what I can do, and if I have to test free agency next year I’m more than confident in what I can do next year.”
With Joe Haden and Donte Whitner, Gipson feels like the Browns could have one of the top secondaries in the league, which should also increase his market value. Gipson considers Cleveland’s secondary to be on par with Seattle’s.
“I would love to be a part of this secondary for years to come because I feel like the change is near,” Gipson said. “But as I said earlier, all good things come to an end. I’ve seen great guys in this locker room, D’Qwell Jackson, T.J. Ward and those kind of guys, they’re no longer with us right now, and I understand that part of the business. So I’m not naive, either.”
Notes: QB Johnny Manziel dropped three shotgun snaps during 11 on 11 drills. Pettine said he would have to look at the film to see if the snaps were too low. . Pro Bowl center Alex Mack participated in team drills for the first time since breaking a leg in a Week 6 win over Pittsburgh. . DL Xavier Cooper missed practice due to illness but is expected back on the field on Wednesday. . OL Cameron Erving, S Tramon Williams and DL Phil Taylor were working on exercise bikes but should be ready for the start of training camp.
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