Browns Make Final Call on OT Jedrick Wills’ Future

Jedrick Wills

Getty Offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. of the Browns.

The Cleveland Browns picked up Jedrick Wills‘ fifth-year option on Monday, linking him to the team for the next two seasons.

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN first reported the news on Wills’ option.

Wills was a first-round pick of the Browns in 2020 and had a fifth-year option attached to his contract. Browns general manager Andrew Berry was asked about the option following the NFL Draft and hinted the decision would go in Wills’ favor.

“I think I’ve touched on this in previous pressers. I won’t talk about it in this setting. We’re pleased with Jed,” Berry said on April 29.

The option pays Wills a fully guaranteed salary of $14.175 million for 2024. He’s locked in for the next two seasons but the Browns could then make a decision on his long-term future before that.

Berry was previously asked about Wills and hinted that Cleveland would be picking up the option, without giving an absolute answer.

“I’m pleased with the progress he’s made over the past year,” Berry said in March. “Certainly, we envision him being here and being the starting left tackle for us next year.”

Jedrick Wills Did Not Grade Out Well in 2022

Getty ImagesJedrick Wills of the Cleveland Browns.

Wills is entering his fourth season with the Browns and has started all 45 games he’s appeared in at left tackle. He played right tackle at Alabama in college but was protecting the blindside for left-handed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Wills hasn’t been a slam dunk as the Browns’ left tackle of the future. He earned a mark of 62.9 on Pro Football Focus last season — 60th in the NFL at his position. Wills will have to improve next season, especially with Deshaun Watson under center. Watson makes a lot of plays with his legs and keeps play alive for extended periods of time, requiring his lineman to stay active with their heads on a swivel.

The numbers might say otherwise but the Browns have expressed they’re pleased with Wills’ play and progress.

“As you go back and watch a lot of the tape over and over, he’s doing a nice job in the run game and the pass game,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said in March during the NFL Annual Meetings. “He’s winning his one on one matchups. Never perfect because it’s hard to be perfect as a left tackle in this game. But he played well. I really think, if he stays healthy, the trajectory continues to ascend.”

Browns Drafted Monster Offensive Tackle in Dawand Jones

The Browns did bring in a new high-upside option at tackle in Dawand Jones with their fourth-round pick (No. 111 overall) and he’s a mammoth of a man. Jones was a two-year starter at Ohio State and comes in at 6-foot-8 and 374 pounds.

“He’s not just big, he’s human-orca big,” Berry said. “I just don’t think you really see people with that size and that movement ability.”

Jones has primarily played right tackle but there’s a chance the Browns train him to be an option as a swing tackle, backing up both Wills and veteran Jack Conklin. Both have struggled with injuries in recent seasons and having a capable backup for both sides could go a long way.

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