The Cleveland Browns' offseason program officially started on Monday, with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. The majority of players typically attend the start of the offseason program, although this phase is voluntary.
The news that everybody was watching today was whether the team's restricted free agents would show up. According to ESPN's Adam Caplan, ILB Craig Robertson and S Johnson Bademosi signed their 2nd round and original round tenders, respectively. Neither player was expected to hold out.
That leaves FS Tashaun Gipson and NT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen unsigned. Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Kitchen is expected to sign his tender soon, while Gipson will stay in Dallas:
Browns DT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen plans to sign his low RFA tender soon, I'm told. Hasn't done so yet but will.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 21, 2015
Gipson will be training in Dallas this week while the team conducts Phase 1 (voluntary) of the offseason program.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 20, 2015
It's been thought that Gipson was a little upset that the team only gave him a second-round tender instead of a first-round tender, a difference of about $1 million. However, it looks like it might pay off for the Browns: the deadline for another team to have Gipson sign their offer sheet is this Friday, and so far, it doesn't sound like there has been much interest.
Until Gipson signs his tender, he could miss all of the team's offseason programs without consequence. We don't think it'll come down to that, though: eventually, the Browns are going to lock up Gipson on a long-term deal. It's just a matter of working out the right terms.
@TonyGrossi It also allows Tashaun Gipson to miss training camp without being subject to fines as Mike Wallace did w/Steelers in '12 as RFA.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) April 20, 2015