Record Contract To Bring Rison To Browns

Posted: March 24, 1995

Andre Rison has committed to the Cleveland Browns, striking a $17 million, five-year deal that makes him the highest-paid receiver in NFL history, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported yesterday.

The newspaper said Rison agreed to a contract paying a signing bonus of $5 million and base salaries of $578,000 in 1995, $2 million in 1996, $2.1 million in 1997, $3.7 million in 1998 and $3.7 million in 1999.

"I'm going to an organization that's treating me with respect," Rison said.

The Browns said in a statement they were getting closer to an agreement.

Rison, the first free agent to sign with the Browns in the offseason, could help lure other free agents to the Browns. The Plain Dealer said Rison has placed a call to Houston running back Lorenzo White to try to lure him to Cleveland. Rison and White were teammates at Michigan State.

Falcons defensive tackle Mel Agee, another good friend of Rison and a restricted free agent, said he would love to play for the Browns. His agent, Bob Kingsley, told the Cleveland newspaper the Browns have called several times.

Rison was released earlier this year by Atlanta, where he had disciplinary problems, including a one-game suspension last season. The Falcons did not want to pay Rison $3 million this year. Last season, he had 81 catches for

1,088 yards.

In other news:


The Buffalo Bills re-signed free agent Henry Jones to a five-year contract which reportedly is worth $12.2 million and includes a $3 million signing bonus. The deal temporarily makes Jones the NFL's highest-paid safety, though at least three other safeties are expected to sign more lucrative deals before next season starts.


Newly unionized cheerleaders for the Bills have filed a labor grievance saying their manager is trying to break up their union. The Buffalo Jills, the first professional cheerleading squad to unionize, said manager Andrew Gerovac has effectively fired them by canceling public appearances, firing their choreographer and failing to notify current members about tryouts.

The cheerleaders said he took those actions after the squad voted Feb. 23 to join the NFL Cheerleaders Association, which the Jills formed after winning a National Labor Relations Board ruling. A secretary at Gerovac's office said he was on vacation and could not be reached for comment.


The Seattle Seahawks signed free agent Jim Sweeney, a former New York Jet, to replace starting center Ray Donaldson, who went to Dallas via free agency.


West Virginia junior defensive tackle John Browning has changed his mind and will not enter the NFL draft.


The San Francisco 49ers will make their sixth overseas appearance in eight years when they play the Denver Broncos at the Tokyo Dome Aug. 6 in the Asian version of the NFL's American Bowl series.

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