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Browns, Denzel Ward agree to five-year contract extension

The Panthers appear to be eyeing a Baker Mayfield itching to get out of Cleveland, but acquiring the former No. 1 draft pick would come with risks.

At least one of the Browns’ first-round picks from 2018 will be with the team in 2022 and beyond.

Cornerback Denzel Ward has agreed to a five-year, $100.5 million contract extension with $71.25 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.

With the new deal, Ward now becomes the highest-paid cornerback in league history.

Ward was the No. 4 overall pick for the Browns in 2018, selected just three spots after quarterback Baker Mayfield. Ward has been an integral part of Cleveland’s defense ever since, though he has missed games each season due to injury.

He was a Pro Bowler for the second time in 2021, recording three interceptions, 10 passes defensed, a tackle for loss, and a half-sack.

In all, Ward has appeared in 52 games with 51 starts. He’s caught 10 interceptions, recorded 50 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

Ward is now under contract through the 2027 season.