Myles Garrett’s new contract with the Cleveland Browns reportedly includes $100 million guaranteed, setting a record for a defensive player, per ESPN’s Jake Trotter.
Garrett signed for five years, $125 million-giving him another defensive record $25 million AAV.
The defensive end becomes just the sixth player with a $100 million guarantee, joining Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2017 surpasses Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack ($23.5 million) for the highest annual salary by a defensive player.
“In 2017, the Cleveland Browns bet on me,” Garrett said in a statement. “This city quickly became my home and these people quickly became my family. I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity, the support of my friends and family, the organization, my teammates, the fans-I could go on forever, but even that wouldn’t be enough time to express my gratitude. I’ll just say this: Keep betting on me, Cleveland, because I won’t let you down. Now, let’s get to work.”
In 37 career games, Garrett has recorded 104 total tackles, 30.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.
While the Browns still had the 11th-worst defense in football last year, they’ve been making noticeable progress since Garrett entered the fold. Cleveland had the third-worst defensive unit in football in 2018.
The club has further bulked up the unit by adding free agents like defensive tackle Andrew Billings, defensive end Adrian Clayborn, linebacker BJ Goodson and cornerback Kevin Johnson.
Browns general managerAndrew Berry continued to praise Garrett in a Wednesday statement, noting the club expects he still has plenty more to show:
“One of our fundamental organizational beliefs is identifying young players on our roster and proactively retaining them as part of our present and future core. We go through great lengths to select players whose make-up and performance embody the characteristics we are looking for within our team. Today, we’re delighted that Myles Garrett will be a Cleveland Brown for many years to come. Myles’ rare physical gifts in conjunction with his work ethic, intellect and humility have been the catalysts behind an auspicious start to his young career. Despite his early individual successes, Myles maintains the same drive toward greatness that he displayed as a 22-year old rookie. We firmly believe that this intense focus means the best is yet to come.”
In proving that commitment, Cleveland gave Garrett a record-breaking contract that should keep him comfortable for at least the next five years.