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Josh Cribbs reportedly eyed by Giants, Cowboys, 49ers

Josh Cribbs has spent his entire NFL life with the Cleveland Browns, but it's becoming clear he'll be playing elsewhere when September rolls around.

Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer cited league sources to report that five teams -- and none of them the Browns -- have shown interest in the wide receiver and return man. The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers have looked into acquiring Cribbs, as have the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals.

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Cribbs is expected to sign with a suitor shortly after Tuesday's free agency launch, marking the end of a sometimes dazzling eight-year run in Cleveland. Mired on poor teams, Cribbs often was the lone playmaker for a franchise eternally searching for an identity.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection arguably was at his most dangerous during Eric Mangini's run as head coach. Those wayward Browns teams abandoned the pass to mesh a Wildcat attack with a ground-oriented offense that often resembled something from another age. Cribbs saw his role reduced under Pat Shurmur and it's clear the new regime under Rob Chudzinski is ready to move on.

Still a player who can contribute, Cribbs would do well to sign with a team open to running a multiple-option offense. He'd be an intriguing addition in San Francisco, and Bill Belichick would find plenty of ways to use him in New England.

If Cribbs truly is done in Cleveland, this isn't the fitting sendoff he deserves. He always wanted to finish his career there -- not something you hear every day from a Browns player -- making this a bittersweet parting, indeed.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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