Browns likely to pick up Jedrick Wills fifth-year option

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Cleveland Browns v Washington Commanders / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Jedrick Wills was the first player Andrew Berry ever selected as the Cleveland Browns general manager. Now, heading into his fourth season in that role, he has a decision to make in regard to the former Alabama standout.

Wills, who has had his share of ups and downs throughout his first three seasons, is also entering year four and that means it's time to decide on the fifth-year option in his rookie deal. Every first-round pick gets a four-year deal but teams have the ability to extend them for one more season.

There are several factors that decide how much a player would make in that fifth year but for Wills, it would be roughly $14 million for the 2024 season. And as it stands now, it seems as though the Browns will be picking up that final year.

While speaking with members of the media about the 2023 NFL Draft, Berry declined to make a full commitment but said he and the franchise were pleased with Wills.

"I think you know that I don’t really talk about contracts or those decisions in this setting. You guys will certainly know before May 2 and we’re pleased with Jed."

Andrew Berry on Jed Wills

The deadline for that decision is May 1, so we won't have to wait much longer to see what the plans are.

Jedrick Wills has hada roller coaster ride with the Cleveland Browns

When Wills was selected by Cleveland 10th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, he had a lot of expectations placed on his shoulders. Wills, who played right tackle for the Crimson Tide, was about to take over the blindside — a spot that had been a concern ever since Joe Thomas retired following the 2017 campaign.

This unfairly placed more pressure on Wills who not only had to learn to play from the opposite side of the line, but he also hadto do so through many virtual meetings due to COVID restrictions.

Wills wound up playing well as a rookie but injuries began to cause problems for him in 2021. Then this past season, he seemed to struggle with consistency and his body language suggested a lack of effort at times — although this was probably more due to frustration than anything else.

Even with those issues, Willis has been a capable starter and is the best option for the team in 2023. He's also the best option in 2024 as well, meaning the Browns would be justified in picking up the option.

Cleveland fans were spoiled by Thomas for a decade and that's led to a belief that if someone isn't an All-Pro at the position, they're not good enough. Sure, it would be nice to have that but it's not as if it's as easy as snapping your fingers and bringing in Joe Thomas 2.0.

The better play is to continue to bring in players in hopes of finding a stud but playing your best option until that happens. And right now, that best option is Jed Wills.

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