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Kellen Winslow II

Kellen Boswell Winslow II (born July 21, 1983 in San Diego, California) is an American football tight end for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He is the son of Kellen Winslow, a Hall of Fame tight end who played for the San Diego Chargers.

Collegiate career

Winslow attended Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego and then the University of Miami, where he was a two-year starter and finished his collegiate career with 119 receptions for 1,365 yards (11.47 yards per reception) and nine touchdowns in 38 games. He also recorded a safety while playing on special teams during his freshman season.

After his junior season, Winslow was selected as a First-Team All-American by the Associated Press. He also won the John Mackey Award as the nation's best collegiate tight end.

"Soldier" comment

Winslow generated significant national attention following a 2003 University of Miami loss to the University of Tennessee Volunteers. During a sweep play for Miami wide receiver/cornerback Devin Hester, Winslow made a terrific block on two Volunteers, effectively taking both defenders out of the play. Following the block, Winslow stood over both players, taunting injured Tennessee defensive back Corey Campbell. When questioned during the media session following the game Winslow admitted that he had known Campbell was injured but didn't care,

"Yeah, I don't give a hell. It's about this U, man. I don't give a flyin' you-know-what about a Vol. I don't give a damn! He would do the same thing to me. It's war. They don't give a freakin' you-know-what about you. They will kill you. They're out there to kill you. So I'm 'a kill 'em. You write that in the paper. You write that. You make money off that. No, man, I'm pissed. All y'all take this down. I'm pissed, man. We don't care about nobody except this U. We don't. If I didn't hurt him, he'd hurt me. They were gunnin' for my legs. I'm a come right back at 'em. I'm a fuckin' soldier!

Winslow took heavy criticism for the rant since many critics felt it was disrespectful to actual soldiers who were serving on duty in the Iraq War, which had started several months before. On November 10, 2003, Winslow issued a written apology for his comments, writing that: "I meant no disrespect to the men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the Armed Forces. I cannot begin to imagine the magnitude of war or its consequences."

Professional career

Winslow was drafted by the Cleveland Browns out of the University of Miami with the sixth pick in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Cleveland head coach Butch Davis was also the coach who recruited Winslow to the University of Miami before leaving for the NFL prior to ever coaching Winslow in college.

Somewhat surprisingly, Winslow was not the first University of Miami player selected in the 2004 Draft after draft day speculation that he could become the first tight end drafted number one overall. That honor went to the late Sean Taylor, who was chosen by the Washington Redskins one selection earlier, with the fifth overall selection.

Winslow would eventually choose sports agents Carl and Kevin Poston of Professional Sports Planning Inc. (PSP) to represent him at the negotiating table. The Poston brothers - whose clients at the time also included Orlando Pace and Charles Woodson - seemed an odd choice. Although respected in many circles for their ability to secure hefty contracts for their clients, the pair had developed difficult working relationships with several teams, league executives and the NFL Players' Association. In March 2006, Carl Poston was suspended for two years by the NFLPA disciplinary committee after admitting that he had not read the contract of Washington Redskins' linebacker LaVar Arrington, which did not include an agreed upon $6.5 million bonus. Arrington would later buy his way out of his Redskins contract to avoid arbitration in the matter. Eventually, the Postons secured a six-year $40 million deal for Winslow, including a $16.5 million signing bonus.

2004 leg injury

Winslow was expected to give the Cleveland offense an immediate boost. Two games into his rookie season, however, he suffered a broken right fibula, costing him $5.3 million in incentive bonuses. The injury kept him on the sidelines for the remainder of the year after having only recorded five catches for 50 yards. After two operations on the injured leg, Winslow was supposed to make a full and complete recovery in time for the 2005 season. He had made his NFL debut versus the Baltimore Ravens on September 12.

2005 motorcycle accident

This expectation changed on May 1, 2005 when Winslow, while riding his Suzuki GSX-R750 motorcycle in a community college parking lot in suburban Westlake, hit a curb at about 35 mph and was thrown from his bike. Winslow sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and was placed on the "Physically Unable-to-Perform (Non Football Injury)" list for the 2005 season. Winslow also fought off a six-week staph infection that resulted from his knee injury.

While Winslow was contractually obligated by the NFL's standard player contract not to "engage in … any activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury, and specifically not to ride a motorcycle under his contract with the Browns, he nevertheless purchased the powerful sport bike. Lt. Judy Neel of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that Winslow obtained a motorcycle learner's permit April 26, after initially failing a written exam administered in the Garfield Heights district of Cleveland. Initially, it was speculated that the Browns would seek to recoup a pro-rated share of the $6 million signing bonus Winslow received in 2004 and perhaps the entire $4.4 million option bonus he was paid in March 2005, although the Browns later declined to take such action.

2006 season

Winslow attended the Browns' 2006 training camp and pronounced himself ready to play. The Associated Press reported in August 2006 that Winslow said that, even at 90 percent, he was superior to every other NFL tight end. "I hate to be brash", Winslow said. "But I think my 90 percent is still better than every tight end out there."

In the opening game of the 2006 NFL season against the New Orleans Saints, Winslow recorded his first NFL touchdown, scoring on an 18-yard pass from quarterback Charlie Frye. Winslow emerged as a reliable target for Cleveland, finishing the year with 89 receptions, the most at his position on the season, which also tied Ozzie Newsome's all-time franchise record for receptions in a season.

Winslow became the cause of controversy in 2006. During a nationally-televised NFL Network game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 7, 2006, Winslow hit Steelers linebacker James Farrior from behind after a play, drawing criticism from outspoken former Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter, who called Winslow a "fag" twice during a post-game interview.

Winslow underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee January 31, 2007 at the Cleveland Clinic in an attempt to further repair cartilage damage sustained in the motorcycle accident in 2005.

2007 season

On December 18, Winslow was named as a first alternate for the 2008 Pro Bowl On February 4, Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers announced he would not be attending the Pro Bowl due to injury. This paved the way for Winslow to make his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

He finished the season with 82 receptions for 1106 yards and five touchdowns.

2008 season

During the 2008 campaign, Winslow was hospitalized for three days for an unknown illness.

Regular season statistics

Pro. Career Off. Statistics Receiving
Year Team G Rec Yards YAC TD
2004 Cleveland 2 5 50 10.0 0
2005 Cleveland 0 0 0 - 0
2006 Cleveland 16 89 875 9.8 3
2007 Cleveland 16 82 1,106 13.5 5
Total 34 176 2,031 11.5 8

References

External links

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