The Cleveland Browns have not had a great track record with retaining first-round draft picks since returning in 1999.
The difference in the present day is that the team has two former No. 1 overall picks in Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield on the roster.
While Mayfield is only two years in, Garrett recently had his fifth-year option exercised and is a key piece moving forward.
The question now becomes how much money Garrett will make on his next deal.
The #Browns and DE Myles Garrett have had contract extension discussions, setting the stage for a potential long-term later this summer, per @JFowlerESPN. The highest paid edge-rusher in the NFL is Khalil Mack at $23.5M per year average.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) June 12, 2020
Garrett has the ability to make a fortune, but does have one thing working against him.
Predicting a Garrett Extension
The six-year, $141 million extension for Khalil Mack stands out as a potential starting point in negotiations.
However, Garrett’s suspension at the end of last season is a major knock against him.
The defensive end is already set to earn just over $15 million in 2021 on his fifth-year option.
Following that 2021 season he will have just turned 26 years old and it is possible he is looking for one mega-deal before hanging up his cleats for good.
Due to some on-field issues let’s settle on a five-year extension for Garrett.
Mack’s contract is the high end of the scale.
A more comparable deal could be that of Dallas Cowboys star Demarcus Lawrence, who signed a five-year, $105 million deal in 2019.
This is not a bad starting point for Garrett considering he has only played in 37 games in three seasons and still has to earn back the trust of the team.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) June 16, 2020
There is no doubt he is a genuinely good person, but there have been other on-the-field issues aside from when he slammed Mason Rudolph over the head with a helmet.
The Guaranteed Money
Handing Garrett something like a five-year, $110-120 million extension is only lucrative if there is a good amount of guaranteed money.
Of course, whatever he gets will be life-changing.
A “good” amount is something on par with others around the league.
Mack received a whopping $90 million in guaranteed money while Lawrence got $65 million guaranteed.
For reference of how the market is climbing, J.J. Watt only got $51 million in guaranteed money on his $100 million deal.
Lawrence raised the market for defensive ends, as Mack is more of a linebacker/pass-rusher, and it is fair to expect Garrett to ask for at least $65-67 million guaranteed.
That is not greed, but simply going off the market.
Settling on the range of a five-year deal worth $110-120 million with anywhere from $65-70 million guaranteed is more than fair given Garrett has only played three seasons.
Myles Garrett with his 3rd sack of the game.. and there's still 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. 😳@MylesLGarrett
📺: #CLEvsNYJ on ESPN
📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2019
He is not going to get Mack’s money because of his natural position, along with the fact he has only played one full 16-game season up to this point.
But obviously a record deal for a defensive end is still an amazing thing for Garrett to receive.
The key for the Browns is to get him signed as soon as possible.
If he dominates in a full 2020 season his price is only going to go up and a holdout could ensue in 2021 if he doesn’t have a new deal.