Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had some choice words for the Cleveland Browns defensive backs and Denzel Ward had a sharp response to the second-year pass-catcher.
Chase joined The Pivot podcast and was asked about some of the top cornerbacks he faced during his record-setting rookie season with the Bengals. He was quick to name Ward but also had some shade for the “s–t” talking Browns.
“It’s game-time when we see them. It’s just on sight, that’s it,” Chase said. “Not just because Cleveland talk the most s–t. Denzel Ward did his thing. Same for Greg Newsome. I don’t think he elite (Newsome), but they just talk crazy.”
Ward noticed the statement from Chase and took to Instagram to respond. He put up a “taking notes” emoji with the clip attached. He also wrote, “It’s on site. Let’s get it.”
Ward also had to post a reminder of what he did last year against the Bengals, snatching a pick-six en route to a 41-16 victory on November 7. Both teams were 5-4 after that game but went in very different directions. Cincinnati went on to finish 10-7, winning the AFC North and making a run to the Super Bowl.
The Browns slumped, finishing the year 8-9, their final win of the year coming against a shorthanded Bengals squad that was already locked into the postseason. So despite Ward’s Pro Bowl campaign, Chase can play the team-success card.
The Bengals and Browns will meet up for the first time this season on October 31 and the matchup between the AFC North rivals should have some added spice thanks to the back and forth.
Browns Locked Up Ward With Long-Term Extension
The Ward-Chase battle could be one we get to see for years to come. Ward inked a $100.5 million extension with the Browns this offseason that has the lockdown cornerback linked to Cleveland through the 2027 season.
The challenge for Ward going forward will be staying on the field. He has never played a full season in his NFL career, being on the receiving end of some unfortunate injuries. He’s missed 13 games overall but has been an absolute force when he is available, locking down one side of the field for the Browns.
Ward is currently dealing with a foot injury that has kept him out of practice but the Browns are confident their Pro Bowler will be ready for Week 1.
Browns Want to be NFL’s Top Secondary
The Browns have high hopes for their secondary, particularly at the cornerback position. With Ward, Newsome and Greedy Williams, the Browns feel they can be among the best in the league.
“On paper, I think we can be that, but we’ve got to show that we can do that on the field every game,” Newsome said on July 27. “[There were] games last year where we showed we were really dominant, and then there were games where it looked like we took a step back. So we’ve got to find a way to be consistent.
“Our feeling is we’re just going to pick up where we left off regardless [of Ward’s injury]. Last year, we had some injuries happen where he wasn’t able to play, and we got guys that are going to come in, step in and play. Obviously, he’s one of the best in the game, so we’ll miss him, but he’s working. He’ll be back.”
The Browns traded veteran slot cornerback Troy Hill this offseason and Newsome — the Browns’ first-round pick in 2021 — is expected to take over that role. Like Ward, Williams has dealt with some injuries in his career, missing the entire 2020 season with a shoulder injury. AJ Green and rookie third-round pick Martin Emerson are also expected to play a part in the rotation.