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updated: 7/23/2012 10:39 PM

Browns sign RB Trent Richardson

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  • Alabama running back Trent Richardson, right, was selected by the Cleveland Browns as the third pick overall in the NFL draft in April.

      Alabama running back Trent Richardson, right, was selected by the Cleveland Browns as the third pick overall in the NFL draft in April.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- One high-profile draft pick signed, one to go.

On the eve of Cleveland's rookies reporting to training camp, the Browns signed running back Trent Richardson to a four-year, $20.5 million contract and can now turn their attention to getting a deal done with quarterback Brandon Weeden.

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A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Monday night that Richardson's agent Jimmy Sexton and the Browns completed the deal, which includes a $13.3 million signing bonus. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team hasn't announced the signing. Richardson's deal reportedly doesn't contain any offset language, a provision that protects the Browns from having to pay him the full amount of his contract if he is released before the deal expires and signs elsewhere.

The Browns traded up in April's draft to select Richardson with the No. 3 pick. The former Alabama star will report to training camp Tuesday and be on the field Wednesday with Cleveland's other first-year players and some select veterans. Richardson is expected to have an immediate impact on Cleveland's running game, which never got going last season. Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty dealt with injuries, and Brandon Jackson sustained a season-ending foot injury in camp.

Browns general manager Tom Heckert recently said he expected both Richardson and Weeden to be in camp from the outset.

However, the sides might have to hurry to get Weeden into camp on time. The only obstacle to a deal being finalized appears to be the No. 22 overall pick wants to have all four years of his contract guaranteed. Typically, players taken later in the first round get only three years of guaranteed money.

The Browns intend to start the 28-year-old Weeden this season and would like to have him in camp from the start so he can get the possible practice time with the first-team offense.

Cleveland's veterans are due to report to camp on Thursday and will have their first practice on Friday.

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