After a year of talking about his contract extension, the Browns and Ward finalized it on Monday.
Ward is now the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history with a 5 year $100.5 million deal including $71.25 million of guaranteed money.
Denzel Ward and the Browns have agreed on a 5-year, $100.5M contract extension with $71.25M guaranteed, per @AdamSchefter
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 18, 2022
Everyone is happy for Ward.
He is the hometown boy who has played football his entire life in Ohio.
Ward is very active in the community working with his family at MTKYN, Make Them Know Your Name foundation, which they started in memory of Ward’s father Paul Ward Jr. who died of cardiac arrest at the age of 46 in 2016.
His community service efforts are the reason the Browns selected him as the 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year.
Obviously, Ward is well-liked, and if he did not realize it before, he found out just how much on Friday when he thought he was sitting down for an interview to talk about his contract.
Instead of Ward talking about the deal, the team presented him with a video compilation of congratulations and well wishes.
There were people very close to Ward on it including his mother, brother, and grandparents.
In addition, there was a person who benefitted from MTKYN’s work.
Ward’s face showed the gamut of emotions as he watched the footage.
He smiled often but also was choked up at times.
.@denzelward thought he was sitting down for an interview following the signing of his new contract.
Instead, he was surprised with messages and well wishes from those closest to him. pic.twitter.com/LoXbnqHT0J
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 22, 2022
It is heartwarming to watch Ward.
He must think about his late father often and wishes he was here to see Ward’s success, but he is doing the next best thing by honoring him with his tireless charity work and high-level play on the football field.
#Browns CB Denzel Ward: "Perfect world, I'd definitely want to be a Brown for the rest of my career. I'm from Cleveland. They drafted me. I enjoy being a Cleveland Brown and giving them everything I've got."
— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) June 15, 2021
Last summer, Ward said “in a perfect world” he wished to play his entire career with the Browns.
Thankfully the Browns took a positive step forward in that direction with his five-year deal.