As first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward has agreed to a five-year, $100.5 million contract extension with the Cleveland Browns that will keep him with the franchise through at least the 2027 season.
Ward, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, now becomes the highest-paid cornerback in league history with $71.25 million guaranteed. He’s coming off the best season of career in 2021, as he recorded 43 tackles, 10 pass break ups and three interceptions – one of which he returned 99 yards for a touchdown – in 15 games.
The 24-year-old Ward was named to his second Pro Bowl in 2021 after earning the all-star nod as a rookie. He was also nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which recognizes players who have exhibited excellence on the field and volunteer work off it.
“In a perfect world, I would definitely want to be a Brown for my entire career,” Ward said last summer. “I’m from Cleveland, the team that drafted me, the team that believed in me coming out of college and I take a lot of pride and respect into that. Just want to give my all to this team. It’s definitely a place I would want to be. I enjoy being a Cleveland Brown and giving them everything I got.”
A former four-star prospect from Macedonia (Ohio) Nordonia, Ward was a consensus All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection during his junior season with the Buckeyes. He recorded 67 tackles, 26 pass break ups, two interceptions and one punt block in 37 games with the program from 2015-17.
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