The Cleveland Browns rewarded defensive end Myles Garrett with a contract extension worth $125 million over five years with a whopping $100 million guaranteed, which the two sides made official on Wednesday with the powerful pass-rusher putting pen to paper.
The Browns selected Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 and he is ready to lead the franchise that took a chance on him to the promise land.
“Cleveland keep betting on me,” he wrote on a piece of paper, “World keep betting against us.”
Garrett released a long statement through the team later.
“In 2017, the Cleveland Browns bet on me,” Garrett said in a statement. “This city quickly became my home and these people quickly became my family. I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity, the support of my friends and family, the organization, my teammates, the fans — I could go on forever, but even that wouldn’t be enough time to express my gratitude. I’ll just say this: Keep betting on me, Cleveland, because I won’t let you down. Now, let’s get to work.”
The moved Garrett past Bears linebacker Khalil Mack, who was the highest paid defender 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. Rams DT Aaron Donald is on a $135 million contract he signed in 2018 and he makes $22.5 million annually.
Garrett’s was the first for a Browns first-round pick since Joe Haden signed an extension in 2014 after being taken with the No. 7 pick in the 2010 draft.
Browns Celebrate Myles Garrett Extension
Multiple Browns players celebrated Garrett signing his long-term, big-money deal, including quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield shared his reaction on social media, writing: “Well deserved!!! Let’s get it [Myles Garrett].”
Garrett’s defensive line buddy Larry Ogunjobi also gave some congrats.
“Tell em to back up the BRINKS TRUCK! Congrats my boy,” Ogunjobi wrote. “Couldn’t be happier for you.”
Myles Garrett One of NFL’s Most Impactful Pass-Rushers
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.
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.
General manager Andrew Berry made good on a statement he had in the offseason about Garrett.
“We do see Myles as a long-term member and pillar in our organization,” 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.”