Browns exercise the 5th-year option on CB Denzel Ward

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Jeff Risdon
·1 min read
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The Cleveland Browns were quite busy on the Friday before the 2021 NFL draft. In addition to exercising the fifth-year option on quarterback Baker Mayfield’s contract, the Browns also picked up the same option for cornerback Denzel Ward.

The move locks up the Pro Bowl cornerback through the 2022 season. Ward was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft and the fifth-year option comes with all first-rounders.

Ward, a Cleveland-area native, earned a Pro Bowl berth as a rookie in 2018. That status elevated his fifth-year option up to $13.294 million based on the criteria set by the NFL for players with one Pro Bowl nod in the first three seasons.

He has battled various injuries, but Ward remains one of the best cover corners in the entire league after three years playing for his hometown team. The fifth-year option does not prevent the Browns from reaching a long-term extension with Ward.

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Values for the fifth-year option on Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward contracts now set