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"The most mid corner is the highest paid in history" - NFL fans divided over Browns offering Denzel Ward record-breaking contract

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Robert Gullo

The Cleveland Browns gave cornerback Denzel Ward a new contract extension that made him the highest-paid defensive back in the league.

On Monday, Ward signed a five-year deal worth $100.5 million that includes $71.25 million guaranteed with the Browns that locked his long-term future to the team. The 24-year old was drafted fourth overall in the 2018 NFL draft by Cleveland out of Ohio State.

Browns are signing Pro-Bowl CB Denzel Ward to a 5-year, $100.5 million contract extension that includes $71.25 million guaranteed, per source. At age 24, Ward is the highest-paid CB in NFL history.Tory Dandy of CAA Sports, who negotiated the contract, confirmed the deal to ESPN

The contract makes him the highest-paid corner over Rams Jalen Ramsey, who signed a five-year, $100 million deal in 2020.

Fans react to Denzel Ward's record-breaking contract

Cleveland corner Denzel Ward
Cleveland corner Denzel Ward

Not everyone was thrilled about the contract extension that Ward received.

Twitter user @GiantsSpeakUp was baffled with Ward becoming the highest-paid corner in the league and called him "a mid corner".

@AdamSchefter No way💀 the most mid corner is the highest paid in history

Rams star Jalen Ramsey saw the news and congratulated Ward, saying he was waiting for somebody else to "touch that 100 club" ($100 million) and added that Ward deserves it.

I been waiting on somebody else to touch that 100 club & you DEFINITELY DESERVE IT @denzelward … congrats 🤟🏾

NFL reporter Dov Kleiman pointed out that it was a rarity for a cornerback to be selected fourth overall, but drafting Ward has worked out for Cleveland so far.

@AdamSchefter He was a rare 4th overall pick CB, and he worked out great for Cleveland. Excellent job locking him up for the future.

Twitter user @HollywoodJetEra thinks that the poverty striken Browns overpaid again.

@AdamSchefter OVERPAY LMFAOOOOOOOO POVERTY BROWNS STRIKE AGAIN

Another user @S_Woz11 quote tweeted a tweet that shows ward having the third-lowest completion percentage when targeted since 2018.

@AdamSchefter @AllbrightNFL twitter.com/jake_trotter/s…

User @jalenreagors seems to be happy about Ward hitting the bag.

Browns fan and Twitter user @deshaunsdawgs loves Ward but thinks he should have signed for a little less.

@AdamSchefter i love denzel but man he could’ve been paid a little less. should’ve taken the hometown discount

Another user, @oCASSIUS, is wondering where the Browns are getting all of this money from in free agency

@Lafanette_ @AdamSchefter Where we getting all this money from 😭

New York-based sports analyst John Mallios had a unique take on how the cornerback market was reset this off-season:

@AdamSchefter Not saying he isn’t great; but the CB market was weird this off-season. JC Jackson is a top 5 CB & got way less in FA - figured he would have got the top contract. So strange.

Denzel Ward's performance so far as a Brown

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft

Denzel Ward had a terrific rookie year. He was named to the All-Rookie team while making the Pro Bowl and put up career-highs in tackles with 53, and had a career-high two fumble recoveries on the season. Ward missed a few games the next three seasons, but was still productive each season. He made the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career last season.

In the four years he's played in the NFL, he's recorded 186 tackles, 50 pass deflections, 10 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 2 defensive touchdowns.

Last season, the Browns exercised Ward's fifth-year option on April 23, 2021, which guarantees a salary of $13.29 million for the 2022 season. With a year left under contract, Cleveland decided to strike a long-term deal with Ward before the season began. Ward will be a free agent again in 2028.


Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar

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