BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Justin Gilbert’s got his contract with the Browns. Now he needs a starting job.
The rookie cornerback signed a four-year, $12.8 million contract on Wednesday as Cleveland’s other first-year players, injured veteran and quarterbacks reported for training camp. According to Spotrac.com, Gilbert’s deal includes a $7.6 million signing bonus.
The Browns selected Gilbert with the No. 8 overall pick in May’s draft. And while the former Oklahoma State standout is expected to start on the opposite side from Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden, the Browns have made it clear he won’t get any preferential treatment.
“We’re not going to hand him that job,” coach Mike Pettine said. “He’s going to have to beat Buster (Skrine) out.”
Gilbert reported to camp along with the rest of Cleveland’s rookies, including quarterback Johnny Manziel, who will compete with veteran Brian Hoyer for a starting spot. The Browns will have their first practice Saturday.
Gilbert impressed the Browns coaches during spring workouts. The 6-foot, 202-pounder said he was looking forward to putting on pads in training camp. Pettine likes Gilbert’s size and his ability to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage.
Gilbert has a size advantage over Skrine, who made 15 starts last season.
As they got ready for camp, the Browns also placed rookie running back Terrance West and five other players on the non-football injury list. West, a third-round pick from Towson, went on Twitter to say he’s not dealing with a serious injury.
“I’m healthy, ready to go,” West tweeted. “(NO WORRIES) #dawgpound.”
West will compete with Ben Tate for the Browns’ starting running back job.
Also, the Browns placed defensive lineman Billy Winn, linebacker Tank Carder, offensive tackle Chris Faulk, defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel and guard Jeremiah Warren on the non-football injury list.
The Browns claimed undrafted rookie offensive tackle Abasi Salimu off waivers from St. Louis and waived defensive back Royce Adams, linebacker Brandon Magee and wide receiver Conner Vernon.
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