Connect with us

Steelers News

Former Browns All-Pro WR Nearly Signed with Steelers



Pittsburgh Steelers WR Josh Cribbs

In football, when players play the part of turncoat to a divisional opponent, it amps up the intensity of those games even more. For example, the Steelers have been caught on the wrong side of that a few times, such as when James Harrison went to the Bengals. But on the other side of things, Pittsburgh could have turned one of the best Cleveland Browns players of the late 2000s into a rival.

Every time the Steelers played them, Josh Cribbs seemed to find a way to make a difference on special teams. During his career, Cribbs was named the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and became one of the most feared returners of the era. But that all could have gone differently if Cribbs had become a member of the Steelers after playing his days in Cleveland.

“I still wanted to play, but the first team that offered me was the Steelers,” Cribbs said once he hit free agency in an interview with Sir Yacht. “And, I was just quiet about it because a lot of people told I should’ve taken it, especially in my circle. But I just could not see myself coming back into Browns stadium. To me, you couldn’t do that. At least, that’s what I thought. I was too diehard to the fanbase.”

If that had happened, it would have put more gasoline into the fire of the Steelers and Browns matchups, which lacked that juice for a long time while the Browns failed to get out of the division’s basement. Instead, Cribbs skipped around on three other teams, but the Steelers would acquire a rival’s star kick returner at a different point in the 2010s when Jacoby Jones joined Pittsburgh. That did not end well for either side, but the Cribbs situation is a reminder that things like this in sports always happen.