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In the fold

July 23, 2012 - Mike McLain
According to several media reports the Browns have reached terms on a four-year, $20.5 million contract with running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

Richardson, a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide's 2011 national championship team, received a fully-guaranteed deal. He will join other rookies and selected veterans on the practice field Wednesday.

Jimmy Sexton, Richardson's agent, insisted on a contract that didn't include offset language, which means Richardson will conntinue to be paid by the Browns if he's released before the contract terminates. It also would allow Richardson to be paid by another team if he signs elsewhere after being released.

With Richardson in the fold, the only member of the draft clsss not signed is quarterback Brandon Weeden, the 22nd overall pick.

BEREA, Ohio -- Browns running back Trent Richardson won't miss a beat in his bid to become "the most dominant player" of all time.

The No. 3 overall pick in the draft out of Alabama, Richardson signed his four-year deal today, a source told The Plain Dealer. With Browns rookies due to report to Berea on Tuesday, Richardson avoided missing any time and will take the field for the first workout on Wednesday. Richardson's fully-guaranteed deal is worth $20.5 million over the four years, with a $13.3 signing bonus, a source told the PD. He also has no offset language, which means he'll receive the whole $20.5 million even if he signs with another team before the four years are up. Now that the Browns have Richardson's deal done, they'll turn their attention to quarterback Brandon Weeden, the No. 22 overall pick. The only issue there is the fourth-year guarantee which Weeden's agent, Sean Howard of Octagon, hopes to secure, according to a source. The only holdup in Richardson's deal was the offset language, which the Browns wanted and Richardson's agent, Jimmy Sexton did not. Richardson won that final battle, which enabled the deal to get done Monday after a full day of negotiating. The highest current 2012 pick with offset provisions is No. 10 Stephon Gilmore of the Bills.

During organized team activities in May, coach Pat Shurmur praised the Browns' top pick.

"Wow, he's a very powerful man and he's powerfully built,' said Shurmur. "Don't let the 5-9 1/2 fool you. He's almost 230 pounds and that's a lot of muscle packed into that body. I think he's got a very powerful build, much like we thought when we drafted him and it shows up on the field.'

Shurmur said Richardson's thick, compact frame will dictate his running style.

"Trent can get his foot down and slash it up in the line of scrimmage and by the nature of his build, he is sometimes hard to get your arms around and tackle. That natural leverage that he has also gives him great balance and body control.'


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