David Dermer/Associated Press
The Cleveland Browns and defensive end Myles Garrett are nearing an agreement on a five-year, $125 million contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Rapoport added Garrett’s extension includes $100 million in total guaranteed money, with $50 million fully guaranteed at the time of the signing.
Garrett’s new average annual salary of $25 million will be the most ever for a defensive player, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network:
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
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
Garrett has been one of the NFL’s most effective pass-rushers since the Browns selected him with the first overall pick in the 2017 draft. His 30.5 sacks over his first three seasons ranked 11th in the league over that span, according to Pro Football Reference.
The 24-year-old Texas A&M product added 104 total tackles, six forced fumbles and four passes defended in 37 appearances from 2017 through 2019.
After the Browns’ disappointing 2019 season, which saw the team post a 6-10 record after entering the year with sky-high expectations, Garrett told Tom Reed of The Athletic he still wanted to remain with the organization for the rest of his career.
“They are either mad at you, which is understandable, or they are supportive of you—or, both,” he said in March. “Those are all understandable reactions to what happened. At the end of the day, I’m going to return and do my best to turn things around.”
The extension also comes less than a year after he received an indefinite suspension for attacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his own helmet. He was later reinstated by the NFL.
All told, premier edge-rushers are one of the league’s most valuable assets, right behind quarterbacks in terms of importance when it comes to building a championship roster.
Garrett has proved himself as one of those game-changing defensive linemen, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him lead the NFL in sacks at least once during his career.
The Browns rewarded both his past production and that future upside with a new contract.
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