Tribune Chronicle Article
Winslow likely done for the year
By MIKE McLAIN Tribune Chronicle
BEREA - The joy ride Kellen Winslow Jr. took on his motorcycle last Sunday is expected to cost the Browns highly-touted tight end the 2005 season.
The Tribune Chronicle has learned that Winslow suffered a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Surgery will be required, which means that Winslow will likely miss the upcoming season.
Timetables for recovering from ACL surgery vary depending on the severity of the tear and the individual. A common reference point is a minimum of eight to 10 months, but it's possible that Winslow might need a full year to recover from surgery.
The Browns issued a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming that Winslow was still hospitalized, but no details of the knee injury were given. The statement did say that concern remains with the right knee. It went on to say that the team wouldn't comment on any aspects of his contract.
Winslow, the seventh overall choice in the 2004 draft, was hurt when he lost control of his Suzuki GSX-R750 and hit a curb in a parking lot of a community college in Westlake. Winslow, who was traveling an estimated 35 mph, was thrown over the handlebars and landed in a landscaped area. His helmet flew off, but he didn't suffer head injuries.
A report on the "CBS Sportsline" website stated that Winslow might have punctured a lung and hurt a kidney. The kidney injury is believed to be a bruise.
Winslow spent Sunday night at Fairview Hospital. He was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic Monday to be evaluated by Browns' physicians.
Missing the 2005 season could cost Winslow plenty of money because of a breach in Paragraph 3 of his contract that states he must refrain from participating in hazardous non-football activities that involve a significant risk of injury. Activities include, but aren't limited to, skydiving, hang gliding, mountain climbing, auto racing, motorcycling, scuba diving and skiing.
The team could recover $5 million of his initial $6 million signing bonus and the entire $4.4125 million option bonus that was triggered in early March. Winslow received $2 million of that bonus in March, but the remaining $2.4125 isn't payable until July 15.
Agents Kevin and Carl Poston negotiated a six-year, $40 million contract for Winslow last year, which is the most lucrative ever for a NFL tight end. The total value was reduced to $29.4175 million when Winslow failed to meet an incentive for playing time because of a season-ending ankle injury suffered in a week two game against the Dallas Cowboys. The one-time incentive would have activated $5.367 million in future bonuses and $5.215 million in future base salaries.
Winslow is the latest in what has become a long list of Browns first-round draft choices that haven't panned out. Quarterback Tim Couch (1999) is out of football with a sore arm. Defensive end Courtney Brown (2000) had an injury-riddled five-year run and was released in March. Defensive tackle Gerard Warren (2001) never played up to expectations and was recently traded to Denver. Running back William Green (2002) was arrested for DUI and possession of marijuana and is in Stage 2 of the NFL's drug program. Center Jeff Faine (2003) has finished both of his seasons on injured-reserve with leg injuries.