The Cleveland Browns extended defensive end Myles Garrett’s contract earlier this week. Garrett earned a five-year $125 million deal and the Browns wasted no time as they extended his contract before the start of the 2020 season.
This team has to figure out who else will stay long term. There are several other young players who could earn similar contract extensions. Let’s assume for the sake of debate that Baker Mayfield has a better season than his rookie season. Last year was flat out awful for Mayfield. However, if Mayfield gets his rhythm back and passes for 4,875 yards or more along with 23 or more touchdowns, then he can make a better case for a good contract extension. Running back Nick Chubb will certainly look for an Ezekiel Elliott type of contract ($15,000,000 a year). Chubb is one of the top running backs statistically and could earn a top dollar extension. His ability to break tackles his second to none. While he is more of a power back that plows through defensive players, Chubb has decent speed to go with that power.
What about a few of the defensive players? Denzel Ward needs to stay healthy but he has the speed to be one of the top playmakers at the cornerback position. If he intercepts enough passes in addition to many pass deflections, he can certainly be in for a big payday as well. Ward probably won’t get an extension that looks like Byron Jones’ contract with the Miami Dolphins though ($16,500,000 per year). Larry Ogunjobi is also another intriguing defensive player to watch. He needs more development but his potential has few limits. Ogunjobi may not get as much money as Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox. He may earn about as much as Geno Atkins or Jurell Casey but not much more than that.
All of these potential contract extensions could make free agent signing tricky. It will be interesting to see how the Browns handle this.