The Cleveland Browns are close to locking up star pass-rusher Myles Garrett for the foreseeable future with a massive extension.
The Browns and Garrett have been in steady negotiations this offseason on a deal to keep the former No. 1 overall pick with the team long-term, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday that the sides are in the final stages of agreeing to a 5-year, $125 million contract.
The #Browns and star pass-rusher Myles Garrett are closing in on a 5-year extension worth $125M, sources say. Another massive deal, this time for $25M in new money per year. Their top priority of this offseason and they are in the final stages. 💰💰💰
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 14, 2020
Rapoport added that the Garrett will be getting $100 million guaranteed, with a $50 million signing bonus.
The Browns executed Garrett’s fifth-year option earlier this offseason, but it was more of a formality than anything else. He was never expected to reach that year before getting an extension done.
Bears linebacker Khalil Mack is currently the highest paid edge-rusher in the league in terms of average annual value at $23.5 million. Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and Kansas City’s Frank Clark both are over the $20 million mark as well. Garrett’s deal would link him to Cleveland through 2026 and will make him the highest paid defensive player in the league, per Tom Pelissero.
The $25 million new money average will surpass Khalil Mack's $23.5M for the most ever for a defensive player. Garrett has 2 years and about $19.8M left on his rookie contract, so once finalized, he'll be tied to Cleveland through 2026. https://t.co/0EBgF9xvw1
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 14, 2020
Browns Supported Myles Garrett Through Suspension
Garrett is one of the most impactful pass-rushers in the league, notching 30.5 sacks in 37 career games. He was on pace to shatter the Browns single-season record last year with 10 sacks though 10 games, but was hit with an indefinite suspension in Week 11 after he ripped off the helmet of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him over the head with it. Garrett sat out the final six games of the Browns season with the suspension, but was reinstated this offseason.
“We do see Myles as a long-term member and pillar in our organization,” general manager Andrew Berry told 105.7 the Fan Baltimore in May. “Great player, great person. Obviously, he did make a mistake last year that he’s learned from. But our confidence in and faith in Myles has not wavered and we’re looking to seeing what he does this year and certainly for years to come.”
When Garrett went through some trying times following his suspension, the Browns backed their star at every turn. Browns owner Dee Haslam was spotted wearing a No. 95 hat to support Garrett and there were never any questions that the team had his back.
Myles Garrett in ‘Good Place’ This Offseason
Garrett will have to mend his reputation around the league following his suspension last season. However, Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods feels like his star pass-rusher is in a good place.
“I think Myles has the right mindset in terms of wanting to be MVP and all of that, but we just need him to be the best player for us that he can be, and whatever happens, happens,” Woods said in a recent conference call, via NFL.com. “Right now, I think he is in a good place.”
— Heavy on Browns (@HeavyOnBrowns) June 11, 2020
On top of that, Garrett has stepped into a bigger leadership role on the defensive side of the ball, despite coronavirus restraints making things a bit tougher.
“He is focused on getting better. He is focused on being a good teammate,” Woods said. “He has been in the meetings. He is trying to step up and take more of a leadership role. I definitely think he is moving in the right direction and has the right mindset.”