While standout safety Tashaun Gipson remains out of the Cleveland Browns voluntary offseason workout program, there may be some good news on the horizon.
According to Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan, cornerback Joe Haden said Gipson will in fact return for mandatory offseason team activities and will not hold out during training camp, despite Gipson being unhappy with his second-round tender.
Just caught up w/ Joe Haden; said Tashaun Gipson not happy with tender but will return for mandatory work & won't hold out for training camp— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) May 15, 2015
This news comes a week after Browns defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil said Gipson will "have some catching up to do" when he does return to Cleveland.
"I have talked to Tashaun. He's asked me some questions. I've given him my honest input. Do I wish he was here? Absolutely. Especially in the secondary with my experience in this system, the secondary is the group that can take the biggest jump from year one to year two just because of how complex we are back there. The guys that are here are getting a lot better. We have great coaches in that room. Great coaches. And those guys are growing. Jordan Poyer's growing, Whitner's growing, the corners are growing, so Gip's going to have some catching up to do when he does come back.''
An undrafted free agent in 2012, Gipson has steadily taken on a more significant role in the Browns secondary over the course of his three-year career, improving every step of the way.
By 2014, he was playing at an elite-level prior to his season being cut short due to a MCL sprain. Despite missing the final five games, Gipson still finished second in the league with six interceptions.
The following March, Gipson reached restricted free agent status and Cleveland opted to place a second-round tender on him, which still remains unsigned. The tender is worth $2.356 million.
Gipson has since steered clear of the Browns' voluntary programs, a distinct statement about his feelings toward that tender and posturing for a long-term contract, which many fans feel he has earned. He instead has continued to train at his home in Texas during this time.
Still, with the little leverage RFAs have in these scenarios, it's not surprising to hear Haden say Gipson will return when the team begins mandatory activities. The message Gipson intended was sent and received, but whether or not it will result in a new contract remains to be seen.