Cornerback Denzel Ward will continue to spend his life in Cleveland, as the Pro Bowl corner just signed a five-year, $100.5 million deal with the Cleveland Browns on Monday, as NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday https://www.nfl.com/news/browns-signing-cb-denzel-ward-five-year-100-million-extension . Of the $100.5 million, $71.5 million is guaranteed, according to Rapoport.
This extension makes Ward the highest paid cornerback in NFL History, just sliding by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s five year $100 million deal he signed back in September of 2020. Ward is only 24 years of age and has compiled a consistent, productive career up to this point, being only one of four players with 10-plus interceptions and 50-plus passes defensed since being drafted in 2018.
He’s been a Pro Bowler twice (2018, 2021),and owns the fourth-highest coverage mark among corners since 2018 (minimum 1,000 snaps), while allowing the sixth-lowest completion percentage in his career among corners with 100 or more targets since 2018. Ward has elite speed, fluidity, and agility that made him the fourth overall pick back in 2018, but has yet to play a full season in his career, playing in 13 or fewer games in each of his first three seasons due to injuries.
The Browns have an optimistic outlook, as Ward played a career high 15 games last season where he tied his career-high for interceptions with three. In an AFC that has quarterbacks such as Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, and others, having an elite corner like Ward will make it harder on opposing teams receivers to get open and make it harder on star quarterbacks in the passing game.
The Browns look to win the AFC North division with Ward and his running mate, 2021 first-rounder, Greg Newsome II being by his side for the next three seasons.