Browns Activate CB Denzel Ward

Denzel Ward is back. The Browns announced that they’ve activated the Pro Bowl cornerback from the physically unable to perform list today. The team also waived wideout Derrick Dillon.

Ward injured his foot on the final day of Browns minicamp, but the cornerback avoided any structural damage. While he was expected to return for the start of training camp, Ward needed an extra week-plus to get right. Despite being sidelined, he was still an active participant in meetings, with Greg Newsome II telling Anthony Poisal of the team’s website that Ward was constantly “coaching” and “leading” his teammates.

The Browns certainly didn’t want to rush Ward back to the field after briefly making him the highest-paid corner in league history. In April, the cornerback inked a five-year extension worth $20.1MM per season, and while his annual compensation now ranks second in the NFL at his position, the deal also included a new watermark in guaranteed money at $44.5MM.

The No. 4 pick in 2018, Ward has lived up to his draft status as one of the most impactful and consistent members of Cleveland’s defense. In 2021, he matched his career high with three interceptions, earning him his second Pro Bowl nod along the way. Ward will slide back atop a depth chart that also features Newsome, Greedy Williams, rookie Martin Emerson Jr., and not-that-one A.J. Green.

After spending his rookie season on the Giants practice squad, Dillon didn’t find a gig for the 2021 campaign. He caught on with the Browns earlier this month.

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