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Tashaun Gipson returns to Cleveland

There were handshakes and hugs all around the building Tuesday when safety

Tashaun Gipson returned to the practice field.

The Pro Bowler opted to sit out Cleveland's voluntary offseason program while negotiating a new contract with the club and tending to personal matters in his offseason home, Dallas.

Gipson made one thing clear in his first sessions with reporters: The Browns are getting the same player they've had the past two seasons – a playmaker who's been a turnover machine at the free safety position. There won't be any attitude issues you read about from other players around the league. In fact, he's thrilled to be back.

"I'm definitely happy to be back," Gipson said. "These are the guys I battle with, built friendships and relationships with. I'm happy to see the coaches and my guys Joe (Haden), Donte (Whitner). All the guys in the locker room."

Gipson signed a one-year tender from the Browns over the weekend and made clear in his interview with reporters that he understands the club has a business to run. He spent some time during the offseason educating himself on the NFL's free agency system. Gipson left details of the negotiations private but said there's reason to believe something could get done this season.

"The Browns definitely want me to be here," Gipson said. "I feel like they want me to be here. I want to be here. I love the city of Cleveland. I love talking to (the media) as much as possible (laughs). I would love to be here.

"Hopefully, rather sooner than later, we can get something worked out. As of right now, I can't be bitter. I'm in good health and spirits."

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Gipson tweaked his hamstring during a private training session and was held out of mini-camp Tuesday. It's unclear if he'll be on the field Wednesday or Thursday.

"If we had to play today, if this was a Sunday, I'd definitely be out there with my guys," Gipson said. "The knee is good. The knee is 100 percent. It feels like it did before the injury. The hamstring is just a little tight. It's something you don't want to be problematic and then you have to rehab it."

The Browns are exercising caution with the injury. Last season, Gipson missed the final five games of the season with an MCL injury.

"That's disappointing when a guy's not here to show up with something," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "We were going to be very careful anyway, just like we are with (rookie defensive lineman Danny Shelton). We just don't have an assessment when a guy's not here with your trainers and with your strength and conditioning."

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