The Browns stand to possess plenty of funds to spend come 2017, and the team has identified one free agent-to-be to keep off the market. Cleveland and Jamar Taylor have agreed to terms on a three-year extension worth $15MM, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).
Taylor’s deal includes a $3MM signing bonus and $10.05MM over the first two years, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports.
While the fourth-year cornerback wasn’t exactly challenging Terrelle Pryor or Jamie Collins for top-priority status among the Browns’ impending free agents, the 2016 trade acquisition has played a consistent role for the team, starting 10 games.
This extension comes a year after the Dolphins were making the former second-round pick a healthy scratch. Garafolo points out (via Twitter) Browns secondary coach Louie Cioffi called Taylor an “unbelievable acquisition,” so the team clearly placed a priority on the corner remaining in Cleveland.
The Dolphins traded Taylor to the Browns for a seventh-round pick — the 250th overall selection, at that — so this represents a remarkable turnaround for the 5-foot-11 corner. Miami banished Taylor from its starting lineup after six games last season and opted to take whatever it could get for the Boise State product on draft weekend. This season, the 26-year-old talent has performed like the Browns’ top outside stopper in the opinion of Pro Football Focus, which has Taylor ranked as its No. 37 overall corner.
Through three seasons with the Dolphins, Taylor did not record an interception and started in just nine games. In 2016 for the winless Browns, he has two starts and two picks to go along with eight pass deflections and 40 tackles. The Browns, who entered Saturday with the most cap space in the league at $50MM-plus, now have Taylor and Joe Haden signed through 2019.
Considering the Browns stand to possess more than $64MM in cap room in 2017, this deal shouldn’t preclude them from retaining Pryor or Collins, should they choose to do so.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.