Originally created 05/27/05

Browns' Winslow: 'I humbly apologize'



CLEVELAND - Kellen Winslow Jr. apologized to Browns fans on Thursday for his reckless use of a motorcycle and confirmed that he will miss the upcoming season because of injuries sustained in the crash.

Winslow tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and suffered unspecified internal injuries on May 1 when he wrecked his high-powered motorcycle while attempting tricks in a secluded parking lot near his home.

For the first time since the crash, Winslow confirmed that he will miss his second season as a pro and acknowledged that it was a mistake to take up motorcycle riding.

"To those members of the Cleveland Browns family who I have disappointed by my decision to ride a motorcycle, I humbly apologize," Winslow said in the statement. "In hindsight it was unwise to attempt to learn to ride a motorcycle without a professional instructor in a controlled environment.

"While many of you are disappointed that I will not be on the field with my teammates for this upcoming season, no one is more disappointed in this fact than me."

Winslow did not indicate if he will seek a second medical opinion on his knee. Last week, two sources within the league told The Associated Press that Winslow tore his ACL in the accident.

Winslow, who spent nine days at the Cleveland Clinic recovering from injuries in the crash, has been working out at the Browns' training facility in Berea. He has taken part in the team's 11-day passing camp, learning the new playbook and system being installed by Browns first-year coach Romeo Crennel.

Because he broke a dangerous activities clause in his contract, the Browns may try to recoup a portion of the $5.05 million in bonuses he has received since signing a six-year, $40 million contract last season.

The club may restructure Winslow's contract to allow him to make back some of the money he may have to return.

Winslow bought the motorcycle on April 9. Westlake Police obtained a surveillance tape that showed him performing "wheelies" on the bike before hitting a curb at 35 mph and flying over the handlebars.

He was charged with disregarding safety, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of $150.

Winslow, a star at the University of Miami, was the sixth overall pick in the 2004 draft. The Browns traded a second-round pick to move up one spot to select the son of Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr.

The club was counting on him to improve their offense last season, but he broke his right leg in Week 2 at Dallas and missed Cleveland's last 14 games.

He was still recovering from two operations on his leg at the time of his motorcycle accident.