Cleveland Browns Player not getting an Extension No. 1 – Denzel Ward
There is no doubt that the biggest loss of singing Watson to a massive contract will be finding a way to retain Denzel Ward. Facts are facts, and there just aren’t many teams that have three guys with massive contracts. With Garret and Watson already locked in, I just don’t see a way of keeping Ward.
A lot of people will want to bash Berry for not paying Ward early, but you really can’t blame him at all. For the first three seasons, there was really never a ton of consistency. When he was on the field it was typically great, but you just couldn’t count on him being on the field.
The second half of 2021 is the best football Ward has played. He not only had some crucial plays on the field, but his availability was also much better. The Browns are lucky to have him in a fifth-year option, but the only way I see him back is if he has another injury-riddled year.
If he plays in half the games in 2022, Ward may be motivated to sign a one-year prove-it deal with a great team, and then he will be gone again. If he plays even 75 percent of the games in 2022, he is likely looking at a contract in the $20 million per year range.
I’m not saying he’s the number one cornerback in the league, but he’s definitely in the conversation. The way it seems to go today, the last guy to get paid is typically the highest-paid player at the position.
I hope I’m wrong and Berry finds a way to navigate a contract for Ward, but I don’t know how that happens with so much money going to Watson.