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Trent Richardson hopes to reach deal with Browns by Thursday

With the Cleveland Browns' rookie minicamp set to start Friday, running back Trent Richardson is optimistic he'll have his deal finished by his first day of work.

"I think it's really close to being done. Hopefully it'll be done by (Thursday)," Richardson said Wednesday during a radio interview on WKRK-FM. "Whatever it is, I'm going to be satisfied with it. It's my first time getting paid to do something that I love."

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Set to arrive in Cleveland on Thursday, Richardson said he did not know the current state of his contract negotiations but that signing early was his top priority.

"I want it done by (Thursday), because I want to get everything done with," Richardson said. "I'm here to play football, and I'm here to win."

Richardson, the No. 4-overall pick out of Alabama, said he had spoken with both of his potential quarterbacks -- Colt McCoy and fellow first-rounder Brandon Weeden. Though he did not endorse either as his potential backfield mate, Richardson was impressed with what he saw from Weeden at Oklahoma State.

"I've never seen a quarterback sling it like him," Richardson said. "He plays the game like he's been in the league for years."

Former NFL general manager Charley Casserly said Richardson could be "a better Maurice Jones-Drew" in an earlier interview on the station. Richardson said he appreciated the comparison and intended on proving his worth in his rookie year.

"People have made comments about me being an ordinary running back," Richardson said, referring to comments made by Hall of Famer Jim Brown. "As of now, I haven't been in the league, so I do have to make a name for myself. ... When it comes down to it, I can't wait to match up with (Jones-Drew) and be compared to him, because I know our team is going to carry me a long way."

The Browns have already started on getting other draft picks signed. The team and fourth-round pick James-Michael Johnson agreed to terms on a four-year deal, his agent, Scott Smith, reported via his Twitter account Wednesday. A source told The Plain Dealer that Johnson's contract is worth $2.52 million.

Fullback/tight end James Smelley, a seventh-rounder, has also signed with the team, a league source told The Plain Dealer.

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