Although most of the heavy lifting in NFL free agency is over, there was a huge deal to report on Monday as Denzel Ward agreed to a five-year, $100.5 million contract extension with the Cleveland Browns.
The new deal makes Ward the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history, slightly putting him ahead of Los Angeles Rams star Jalen Ramsey, who signed a five-year, $100 million contract extension at the start of the 2020 season.
Ward’s deal reportedly includes $71.25 million guaranteed, which also sets a new NFL record. New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore previously had the highest mark with $44.346 million in guaranteed salary from his five-year, $97.6 million contract extension last year.
After news broke of Ward’s record-setting deal, Ramsey took to Twitter to congratulate and welcome him to the $100 million club:
I been waiting on somebody else to touch that 100 club & you DEFINITELY DESERVE IT @denzelward … congrats 🤟🏾
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) April 18, 2022
Ward’s contract extension ensures he will spend at least six more years with the Browns through the 2027 season. He will earn $13.294 million this season after the team exercised the fifth-year option on his contract.
Ward earned his second trip to the Pro Bowl last year after tying a career-high with three interceptions, 43 tackles and 10 passes defensed in 15 games.
Since being selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Ward is one of only four players with at least 10 interceptions and 50 passes defensed.