Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry spent 2019 with the Philadelphia Eagles, a franchise that has often been aggressive about getting ahead of market prices on star players and signing them to deals a year earlier than typically expected.
It appears Berry is sticking with that formula.
The Cleveland Browns announced long-term contract extension with star defensive end Myles Garrett on Wednesday. The deal is valued at $125 million for five seasons and includes $50 million guaranteed.
The deal could keep the Browns ahead of a pass-rush market that is expected to trail only quarterbacks as the highest-paid position in the NFL.
Garrett will join Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Patrick Mahomes as the only 2017 first-round draft picks to sign extensions following their third season. McCaffrey signed a four-year “tack on” extension with the Panthers in April that could keep him with the franchise through the 2025 season. Mahomes signed a whopping 10-year extension valued at $503 million.
The Browns had ample cash to extend Garrett, leading the NFL with nearly $37 million in adjustable cap space heading into the summer break. The move to get Garrett done is still considered an aggressive one, given that other edge rushing stars such as Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack played through their fourth season before getting their extensions.
It also comes on the heels of Garrett serving a six-game suspension for tearing off the helmet of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and then hitting the Rudolph in the head with the helmet. That incident took place at the end of a 21-7 win over the Steelers on Nov. 14, leading the NFL to step in and issue multiple suspensions, including sitting down Garrett for the remainder of the season.
The NFL ultimately reinstated him in February, allowing him to take part in Cleveland’s offseason work. Garrett also missed five games with injury during his rookie season in 2017, leaving 2018 as the only year he played a full 16-game slate.
Despite the missed time, Garrett has been one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL, notching 30.5 sacks in 37 games. That played a role in Cleveland’s move to get him locked into an extension after his third season.
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