Friday on twitter, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, @JFolwer ESPN, reported the “Cleveland Browns and Myles Garrett have engaged in contract discussions, per sources, setting the stage for a potential mega-extension this summer. The former No. 1 overall pick has two years left on his rookie deal, and Cleveland could get ahead of a pricey pass-rush market.” Garrett was the number one pick in 2017 and had his fifth year option picked up by the Browns earlier this year. In 37 games with the Browns, Garrett has 30.5 sacks, 32 tackles for loss and forced six fumbles. The only thing that could impact his contract extension would be the incident against the Steelers Mason Rudolph. So what kind of contract is Myles Garrett worth?
According to http://www.overthecap.com, the top five edge rusher contracts belong to Khalil Mack at $23.5 million per year per year, Demarcus Lawrence at $21.5M, Frank Clark with $20.8M, Von Miller collecting $19.1M and Lions Tre Flowers gathering $18M a season.
According to http://www.sportsrac.com, the top five defense end contracts belong to The aforementioned Demarcus Lawrence, the previously mentioned Frank Clark, the edge rusher Tre Flowers covered in the last paragraph, Arik Armstead at $17M a year, and big name J.J. Watt making $16.7M a season
In the NFL, defensive ends and pass rushers get paid. In comparison, Myles Garrett’s current cap numbers per year according to Over the cap are:
2017 $5.5 million 2018 $6.9 million 2019 $7.2 million 2020 $9.7 million 2021 $15.1 million
Looking at the details of Garrett’s contract, his guaranteed money of $2,312,375 was paid over the first two years of his contract and his prorated bonus over the first four years of the contract was $5,064,501 per year. The total cap value of Garrett’s four year contract with a fifth year option is $44,396,342. His contract is currently 4.23% of the Browns cap and 2.32 % of their cash spending.
So where does this leave the Browns and Myles Garrett on a contract extension? Garrett could easily become the highest paid defensive end in the NFL at $25 million per year. Despite the incident vs the Steelers, Garrett had ten sacks in ten games last year and was on pace to be mentioned in the defensive player of the year discussion. A good comparison would be Khalil Mack’s contract. In September of 2018, Khalil Mack signed a six year extension with the Chicago Bears. The extension ended up being worth $141 million with a $60 million guaranteed at signing with $90 million in total guarantees. Mack received a $34 million signing bonus.
The 2020 Browns front office has shown they can negotiate great contracts. A perfect example is the first free agent signed by the Browns, Right Tackle Jack Conklin. Conklin’s contract was reported to be a five year deal worth $70 million, but it’s really a three year deal worth $42 million with the final two years voidable on the fifth day of the 2023 league year. His cap numbers for the length of his contract are eight million in 2020, thirteen million in 2021, fifteen million in 2022, six million in 2023 and nothing at all in 2024. His base salary ends after 2022 and in 2024 he is only owed his prorated bonus of three million. The real value in Conklin’s contract comes in that $30 million prorated fully guaranteed signing bonus.
Using Mack’s contract numbers and Conklin’s contract structure as an example, the Browns could sign Garrett to a five year contract extension worth $125 million with $65 million guaranteed at signing with $95 million in total guarantees. Garrett’s signing bonus could be in the range of $35 to $40 million. To protect themselves, the Browns can either make the final year or the final two years of his extension voidable. Signing Garrett now to a contract extension makes perfect sense. The longer the Browns wait, the more expensive Garrett becomes. This deal is the first domino to fall in the Browns retaining their young talent. Bottom line, Myles Garrett is about to get paid and he’s earned the extension.