Denzel Ward eyes being great, legendary

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Denzel Ward has played very well for the Cleveland Browns since being drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. While Ward has played well, “good” might not be good enough for him.

In three seasons, Ward has seven interceptions, 40 passes defended, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown. Pro Football Focus has graded Ward at 69.9 or better in each of his three seasons as well.

Yet, he’s never graded higher than 78.9 at PFF nor has he ever played in more than 13 games. Both of those highs happened in his rookie season.

Those are not numbers of greatness. Jaire Alexander’s 90.7 grade in 2020 is a number of someone showing greatness. Xavien Howard’s 10 interceptions is a number of someone showing greatness. Playing in all 17 games (starting this season) is a number of someone showing greatness.

Ward has greatness on his mind:

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A great shutdown cornerback doesn’t always have gaudy numbers as opponents tend to avoid them but Ward still has a ways to go to become legendary. With the addition of Troy Hill, Greg Newsome II and the return of Greedy Williams to the cornerback room and the addition of John Johnson III and the return of Grant Delpit at safety, Ward has teammates now who can support his shot at greatness.

With a contract extension looming, do the Browns see enough greatness to pay him as such? Does Ward believe in his own greatness that he will only sign for that type of contract?

Ward has been good so far in the NFL but greatness and legendary status is on his mind.