Which Cleveland Browns should be extended after Myles Garrett?
The Cleveland Browns have continued to add a tremendous amount of talent that the last few seasons through both the draft and free agency. While that is great, the next challenge will be trying to retain as much talent as possible with responsible contract extensions.
This will be a difficult task for general manager Andrew Berry as he must decipher who is worth the money and who he should let walk. Much like 2020, when fans saw Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert leave the team, there will be difficult decisions and fan favorites may end up on the outside looking in. Berry and the Browns must be careful to not duplicate the Joe Haden situation, where he got his big payday, and then couldn’t stay healthy or perform.
The first extension is an obvious one with defensive end, Myles Garrett. The No. 1 pick from 2017 has been dominant in his first three years in the league. An injury in year one and a suspension in year three have kept him from earning all-pro honors but it will be a likely scenario for Garrett in 2020.
An analytical regime will try to be cautious spending too much money on one player, but an elite defensive end is a position Berry will be willing to pay. At Age 24, Garrett is likely to become the highest-paid player (other than quarterback) in the league. To this point, experts have speculated $25 million-plus per year will be the price tag. Khalil Mack is currently the highest-paid rusher at $23.5 million per year and many would argue Garrett has the potential to be more dominant.
To this point, there is no reason to believe Garrett has long-term character issues even after the 2019 suspension. He has also remained healthy since the ankle injury his rookie year. In 35 starts Garrett has 30.5 sacks and 104 tackles. Not to mention the quarterback pressures that can sometimes go unnoticed.
There is no doubt the Garrett deal will get done; the Browns haven’t had anyone this talented since Joe Thomas who spent his entire 11-year career with the Browns. If the Browns want to get the best deal they should negotiate before the 2020 season, but if they wait, they could likely sign another big name to give the Browns a better chance to win in 2020.
Garret is the no brainer for most fans, but here are three other contract extensions the Browns will need to focus on after Garrett is locked down.