Who is the highest paid cornerback in the NFL?
Denzel Ward has signed a five-year, $100.5 million contract extension with the Cleveland Browns, the biggest deal in NFL history for a cornerback.
This offseason has been a time for drawing up for mammoth contracts. This time, the Cleveland Browns have signed Denzel Ward to a five-year, $100.5 million contract extension that makes him the highest paid cornerback in NFL history. The agreement includes $71.25 million in guaranteed money.
The new deal, amounting to an average annual salary of $20.1 million, ties the Ohio State alum to the Browns until 2027.
Rising pay for NFL cornerbacks
Ward’s new contract breaks the previous record set by Jalen Ramsey, who inked a deal with the Los Angeles Rams in 2020 that paid him $20 million a year.
Ramsey didn’t seem to mind that his salary record was surpassed- he only had words of support for Ward, tweeting, “You definitely deserve it @denzelward… congrats”.
Ward’s contract was scheduled to expire after the 2022 season, and the 24-year-old expressed his desire to stay with the team. As early as last year, his agent was negotiating an extension with Cleveland.
Denzel Ward: Franchise star
Ward has spent his professional football career thus far entirely with the Browns, being chosen as the fourth pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He had a standout year, and was chosen to the Pro Bowl because of his excellent performance as a rookie. He was also a Pro Bowl selection last year.
He has become an important part of the Browns’ defensive unit, tallying a total of 10 interceptions, 50 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
Cleveland has been busy building up its roster over the offseason. They also signed former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million agreement.
The signing of Watson- who is still facing legal problems amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct or assault- indicates that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is likely to be moving to another team in the near future.