Cleveland Browns’ 10 best players since returning to the NFL in 1999

Browns (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Browns (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 23: Josh Cribbs Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 23: Josh Cribbs Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images /

5. Josh Cribbs

Although Josh Cribbs was not born in Ohio, his time at Kent State and then in Cleveland helped him understand how passionate the Browns’ fanbase is. He then essentially adopted the city as his own. Cribbs, who was a dual-threat quarterback in college, was more than just a popular player in Ohio and specifically Cleveland.

Whenever the Browns struggled offensively or when the defense forced a punt, excitement in the game increased because of Cribbs. Everyone knew any chance Cribbs could get his hands on the football meant something big could happen.

Cribbs was an undrafted free agent who spent his first eight seasons in Cleveland before playing for the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts. Cribbs was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s First Team All-2000’s team, First Team All-Pro in 2009, and was a three-time pro bowler (2007, 2009, 2012).

While Cribbs did not do much on offense, without his play-making on special teams, Cleveland would not have had the chances to put up points on the board as much as they did.

In those eight seasons, Cribbs earned 2,375 punt return yards and three punt return touchdowns. In addition, he achieved 10,015 kickoff return yards and eight kickoff return touchdowns good for a 25.9-yard average.