The Cleveland Browns and defensive end Myles Garrett have reportedly begun talks on a contract extension for the team’s star defensive end.
That is according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who also reports that the coming months could see the two sides agree on a “mega-extension” for Garrett:
Cleveland Browns and Myles Garrett have engaged in contract discussions, per sources, setting the stage for a potential mega-extension this summer. The former No. 1 overall pick has two years left on his rookie deal, and Cleveland could get ahead of a pricey pass-rush market.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 12, 2020
The Browns picked up Garrett’s fifth-year option in May, meaning they have him under contract for two more years. Garrett is scheduled to make a bit more than $4.6 million this season and a bit more than $15.1 million in 2021 under the fifth-year option, according to overthecap.com.
Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry is looking to follow the path created by his counterpart in Charlotte, where the Carolina Panthers recently agreed to a contract extension with running back Christian McCaffrey even though he has also played just three seasons.
It is a smart move by Berry as the price for players as talented as Garrett continue to rise, with Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears making an average of $23.5 million a year, DeMarcus Lawrence of the Dallas Cowboys making an average of $21 million and Frank Clark of the Kansas City Chiefs making an average of $20.8 million, according to Fowler.
With the Browns adding Adrian Clayborn, Andrew Billings and Jordan Elliott to incumbents Olivier Vernon, Larry Ogunjobi and Sheldon Richardson on the defensive line, Garrett should be in line for a big season this fall.
By opening discussions now, Berry can avoid the possibility of having another team set the bar for a new contract. It also helps the Browns keep their financial house in order as they move toward possible contract extensions in the coming years with quarterback Baker Mayfield, running back Nick Chubb and cornerback Denzel Ward.
In 37 career games with the Browns, Garrett has posted 30.5 sacks and become one of the league’s best defensive ends. He had 10 sacks in 10 games last season, putting him on pace to break Reggie Camp’s franchise record of 14 sacks in a single season, a number that should once again be in jeopardy in 2020.