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Denzel Ward has been given a five-year contract extension to stay with the Cleveland Browns.
After four years of service, the Cleveland Browns wisely give the bag to perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Ward and the Browns have agreed on a five-year extension worth $ 100.5 million, $ 71.25 million guaranteed, to become the highest paid cornerback in NFL history. Cleveland originally beat Ward out of Ohio State with the overall number 4 in the 2018 NFL Draft. He will not hit his NFL-free agency until Ward is in his very early 30s.
This is such a great pickup for the Browns in the long run to make sure they want a lockdown corner.
The Cleveland Browns extend contract details for Denzel Ward: Pro Bowl cornerback
Along with longtime Pro Bowl pass rusher Myles Garrett, the plan is for Ward to be a franchise cornerstone of this Brown defense in the foreseeable future. While the attack will look vastly different with Deshaun Watson taking on Wards draft classmate Baker Mayfield, it’s clear that the Browns imagine they will have to fight for years in the AFC North.
What has served the Browns over the last half decade or so is that their front office has evolved well. Not all picks will be a hit, but the Browns have done a better job than most teams when it comes to selecting players in the recent NFL Drafts. Of course, all the hard work in the offseason has translated into exactly one playoff win since the team came back to life as an expansion team.
Aside from injuries and the like, there is no downside to paying Ward top-dollar. Not only is it a home-grown product, but the Native Ohio projects as a future goodwill ambassador for the Browns franchise, once he has spearheaded many years from now. This is the perfect example of reinvestment in players who proved to be great team assets in the beginning. Good for Ward to get paid.
The best part is that the next cornerback to get paid big will make Ward’s new deal look even better.