After sitting idle for a few weeks, the Cleveland Browns took another big dip by extending Denzel Ward for five years and more than $100 million.
After a few weeks of silence, Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns are once again active participants in the free agency market.
After signing Deshaun Watson to a massive extension a few weeks ago, the Browns have now agreed to a five-year deal with the pro-bowl cornerback, Neighborhood Denzel.
It is not surprising that the A $100.5 million extension makes him the highest-paid corner in NFL history, but it probably won’t last long.
With Ward only 24, he appears to be in Cleveland for the vast majority of his career after this deal.
On the one hand, I argue the Browns saved money by signing him now. Had he performed well in 2022 and played his fifth-year option and others in the position had been extended, it could have easily cost the Browns an additional $15-20 million to sign him next offseason.
On the other side, the Browns are going to have a large amount of money tied up between Watson, Ward and Myles Garrett for a long time. The salary cap is something that can often be manipulated, but there’s no doubt that a deal like this could hamper future moves.
What does Denzel Ward give to the Cleveland Browns?
What do the Browns get in exchange for a deal that guaranteed $71.25 million? They get an All-Pro borderline pro-bowl cover talent – when available.
Throughout college and the NFL, Ward didn’t struggle with production, but he struggled to be available to play.
I could sit here and say he struggles to tackle, which is true, but at the end of the day he proved fantastic in coverage, which is his ultimate job title.
There’s definitely a risk to this signing, but for the most part, I’m happy to see the deal done. If Cleveland hadn’t paid him that money, someone else would have.