Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Browns pick Enis over Dillon

Penn State back was bust with Bears

AP Sports Writer

        CLEVELAND — Curtis Enis, a big bust during three turbulent seasons with the Chicago Bears, will get a chance to resurrect his career with the Cleveland Browns.

        Enis, the fifth overall pick in the 1998 draft, has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Browns, his agent Joel Segal said Monday night.

        The Browns had considered pursuing Bengals free agent Corey Dillon but recently backed off. They played host to Baltimore's Priest Holmes last week. New coach Butch Davis has said he wants a back who doesn't have to come out in passing situations, and the club may be banking on Enis turning his career around in a new environment.

        (See Saturday story: Dillon getting no takers)

        Segal said he reached agreement with the Browns on Monday and Enis will sign the contract Tuesday. It's a one-year deal that includes “a small bonus and a high escalator.”

        “Curtis is excited about the new coaching staff and very enthusiastic and looking forward to returning to his home state,” Segal said. “Curtis signed a contact that will reward him handsomely for performance and anticipates he will come back to the form we've expected.”

        Enis, Mr. Ohio in football while at Mississinawa Valley in Union City, was one of the nation's highest-profile running backs when he was drafted by the Bears following his junior year at Penn State.

        But he held out of training camp as a rookie in a contract dispute with Bears management and reported late. Enis averaged just 3.7 yards per carry and made just one start before suffering a torn left knee ligament in November.

        In his second season, Enis rushed for 916 yards in 12 starts, but wasn't the breakaway back he was in college and averaged just 3.2 yards per carry.

        Last season, the Bears asked him to put on more weight and he came to camp at 245 pounds. Chicago then moved him to fullback and he gained 84 yards on 36 carries.

        After catching just six passes as a rookie, Enis caught 45 for 340 yards and two TDs in 1999. But he made just eight receptions for 68 yards last season.


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