Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward confirmed on Tuesday that his agent and the team have begun to discuss a contract extension.
BEREA, Ohio — Editor’s note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
Like Nick Chubb, Denzel Ward is letting his agent handle any contract extension talks with the Cleveland Browns.
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But the 2018 Pro Bowl selection confirmed that those talks have at least started as the Browns begin their three-day mandatory minicamp in Berea this week.
“I’m going to let my agent handle that. I’m just focused on playing ball,” Ward said ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s practice. “I’m just glad to be back here in the building here at minicamp with all the guys ready to play. I’m focused on playing football and not really anything else.”
That’s not to say that the 24-year-old Ward isn’t eager to get a deal done — far from it.
A native of Macedonia who spent his college career at Ohio State, Ward’s connection to Northeast Ohio was only strengthened when the Browns selected him with the No. 4 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. That put the Nordonia product in the unique position to spend his entire football career in the Buckeye State, an idea that Ward admitted to being excited by on Tuesday.
“In a perfect world, I would definitely want to be a Brown for my entire career,” Ward said. “I’m from Cleveland. The team that drafted me, the team that believed in me coming out of college. I take a lot of pride and respect into that and I just want to give my all to this team. It’s definitely a place I want to be. I enjoy being a Cleveland Brown and giving them everything I got.”
As for what it would cost Cleveland to keep Ward — who is under contract with the Browns through 2022 — Spotrac estimates his market value to be a four-year, $72.5 million deal, which would make him the third-highest paid cornerback in football. That would appear to be in line with the impact Ward has had on his hometown team and bring him one step closer to his wish of spending his entire career in Cleveland.