Myles Garrett

Browns, Myles Garrett Begin Contract Talks

Contract talks are underway between the Browns and Myles Garrett, sources tell Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Browns don’t necessarily have to rush things since Garrett still has two years left on his rookie deal. However, if they’re able to lock up Garrett this summer, they could save a couple of dollars and avoid an even larger spike in the edge rusher market next year. 

[RELATED: Browns Offered Jadeveon Clowney $12MM/Year?]

Even though it was a trying season for the Browns, the former No. 1 overall pick was phenomenal last year – ten games, ten sacks. Of course, he didn’t get a chance to top his previous watermark of 13.5 sacks from the year prior. Garrett was banned from the field for his role in the ugly brawl against the Steelers, capping his season in the fall and his career sack total at 30.5 sacks, for the time being.

Now reinstated, Garrett is in position to dominate once again. And, at the moment, Garrett’s value might be somewhat depressed by the time he’s missed throughout his career. Between the delayed start to his rookie year and last year’s suspension, Garrett has appeared in just 37 regular season games over the past three years.

Still, Garrett is poised to become the league’s new financial kingpin at defensive end. Currently, Khalil Mack leads the way with an average fo $23.5MM per year, with DeMarcus Lawrence of the Cowboys ($21MM/year) and Frank Clark of the Chiefs ($20.8MM/year) closely trailing. Meanwhile, the Browns will also have to leave enough room to take care of other stars down the road, including quarterback Baker Mayfield, cornerback Denzel Ward, and running back Nick Chubb. Fortunately, they have plenty of cap space to work with right now. And, even if they allocate some of those dollars towards Jadeveon Clowney, they can offset the expense by shedding Olivier Vernon‘s non-guaranteed salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns To Exercise Options On Myles Garrett, David Njoku

The Browns will exercise their fifth-year options on defensive end Myles Garrett and tight end David Njoku, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer (on Twitter). With that, both players will remain under club control through the 2021 season. 

The Browns have opted to stay the course with Garrett – the former No. 1 overall pick – despite his role in last year’s brawl against the Steelers. Now reinstated, Garrett will look to build off of the progress he made pre-suspension.The Texas A&M product managed ten sacks in just ten games last season. Had he played a full season, he likely would have shattered his previous watermark of 13.5 sacks from 2018. All in all, he’s got 30.5 sacks, the highest total of any Browns player within the first three years of their career.

Njoku’s decision was actually a tricker one for the Browns since they’ve added Austin Hooper in free agency. Njoku missed the bulk of the 2019 season thanks to a wrist injury and the fifth-year option is guaranteed for injury only (next year, that will change, thanks to the new CBA). Before that, the tight end enjoyed a breakout 2018 campaign as he recorded 56 catches for 539 yards and four touchdowns. For comparison: Hooper is a two-time Pro Bowler coming off of his best season ever.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Upholds Steelers Mason Rudolph $50,000 Fine

The NFL is finally done litigating the infamous fight between the Browns and Steelers on November 14th of last season. The fight’s signature moment came when Browns defensive end Myles Garrett swung Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph‘s helmet at his bare head. The league’s discipline, which included numerous fines and suspensions for players on both teams, was headlined by an indefinite suspension of Garrett. It was reported earlier today that the league reinstated Garrett and, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the league finally reviewed Rudolph’s appeal of his $50,000 fine and upheld their original decision.

When the news of Garrett’s reinstatement originally broke, one of Garafolo’s colleagues at the NFL Network, Ian Rapoport, noted a previous report from Garafolo that Rudolph’s appeal had yet to be decided due to a backlog at the league office. However, Garafolo quickly responded to Rapoport citing “a source” that informed him the decision to uphold Rudolph’s fine had indeed been made.

At the time of the incident, Garrett claimed Rudolph used a racial slur, which sparked his angry outburst. However, per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the team told Garrett to keep the allegation between him and the league before his disciplinary meeting. The allegation leaked to the media nearly a week after the incident and the league claimed they found no evidence to substantiate Garrett’s claims. Regardless, Rudolph did appear to instigate Garrett in the incident and thus, was fined $50,000.

Browns’ Myles Garrett Reinstated By NFL

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been reinstated by the NFL, as first reported by Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (on Twitter). Garrett was suspended indefinitely for his role in last year’s brawl against the Steelers, but he has the green light to return after meeting with league brass this week. 

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We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms,” said Browns GM Andrew Berry in a team press release. “We know he is grateful to be reinstated, eager to put the past behind him and continue to evolve and grow as a leader. We look forward to having his strong positive presence back as a teammate, player and person in our community.”

Garrett, the former No. 1 overall pick in the draft, made headlines for all the wrong reasons in November after he swung at Mason Rudolph‘s unprotected head with the quarterback’s own helmet. In the days that followed, Garrett’s camp alleged that the fracas was prompted by Rudolph’s use of a racial slur. The Steelers QB, through his attorney, vehemently denied those charges.

All along, it has been expected that Garrett would be permitted to play this season. Going off of the league’s recent disciplinary history, there will likely be some conditions for Garrett to satisfy even as he’s welcomed back to the field. During his ban, the NFL ordered Garrett to undergo counseling, among other things.

Before the ugliness, Garrett had a reputation as one of the league’s consummate professionals. His lack of a rap sheet, and humanitarian work, probably helped to facilitate his return. Next week, he’ll fly to Tanzania to bring clean water to locals in need.

Garrett, set to enter his fourth season as a pro, registered ten sacks in just ten games last season. Had he played a full season, he likely would have shattered his previous watermark of 13.5 sacks from the 2018 campaign. Despite the time he missed between his first-year injuries and last year’s suspension, Garrett’s 30.5 lifetime sacks are the most ever tallied by a Browns player during the first three years of their career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Garrett, Bengals, Ravens

Myles Garrett crossed a key item off his rather important offseason to-do list, meeting with Roger Goodell about a potential reinstatement. That was only a step, however. The now-polarizing Browns defensive end must now wait on the NFL to determine if he’s met reinstatement requirements, per Mark Maske of the Washington Post (on Twitter). No timetable exists on this front, but Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer expects a reinstatement soon. The expectation remains for Garrett to return to action in 2020, his fourth season, but it is not certain if he will be able to participate in all of Cleveland’s offseason program.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • The Browns having hired Kevin Stefanski as head coach and added Alex Van Pelt as OC may prompt them to leave one key staff position vacant. Stefanski and Van Pelt’s experience coaching quarterbacks might move the Browns to forgo the hiring of a quarterbacks coach, Cabot writes. Stefanski and Van Pelt have 17 combined seasons coaching NFL quarterbacks. The Browns’ hire of 2019 Broncos QBs coach T.C. McCartney as an offensive assistant may further convince Stefanski the team is covered on quarterback coaches.
  • The NFL’s other Ohio team did some hiring recently, adding two coaches to Zac Taylor‘s staff. Former NFL wide receiver Troy Walters is now the Bengals‘ wideouts coach, the team announced. The team also brought in another coach with 21st-century NFL experience, hiring Colt Anderson as its assistant special teams coach. Walters played eight seasons, from 2000-07. His most notable work came for some high-powered Colts teams in the mid-aughts. Walters, who has yet to coach in the NFL, spent 2018-19 as Nebraska’s offensive coordinator. Taylor is ex-Cornhuskers quarterback and coach. Anderson spent time with the Eagles, Colts and Bills from 2010-17. This will be his first NFL coaching gig.
  • Expected to place the franchise tag on A.J. Green, the Bengals will likely accelerate negotiations with the star wideout between the tag window, per Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic (subscription required). Teams can apply tags to players from Feb. 25-March 10. Green has voiced opposition to being tagged in advance of his age-32 season and pointed to a likely holdout, though he has stopped short of saying he would not play on the $18.5MM tag. Green’s recent injury history and the Bengals’ likely reluctance to offer a highly guaranteed contract leads Dehner to predict the seven-time Pro Bowler will play 2020 on the tag.
  • Chuck Clark‘s extension agreement makes Tony Jefferson‘s Ravens departure a matter of when, not if, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Lost for the season in early October, Jefferson missed the bulk of Baltimore’s 12-game win streak. The Ravens releasing the three-year safety starter would save them $7MM in 2020, the final year of Jefferson’s contract. Clark will then expected to reprise his role alongside Earl Thomas next season.

Browns’ Myles Garrett Meets With Roger Goodell

Myles Garrett could be one step closer to reinstatement. On Monday, the Browns defensive end met with commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his return from indefinite suspension, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com tweets.

It’s expected that Garrett will be allowed to play in 2020, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Garrett must satisfy certain terms from the league in order to suit up again, however. The league has mandated counseling for the former No. 1 overall pick and other off-the-field steps required for re-entry.

Garrett was at the center of an ugly brawl between the Steelers and Browns in November. After striking Mason Rudolph with his own helmet, Garrett was kept out of the final six games of the season. Between the lost paychecks and a $45K fine, the incident cost Garrett $1.6MM and put his football future in jeopardy.

For his part, Garrett says that the incident was sparked by a racial slur from Rudolph. The Steelers QB and his attorney have categorically denied the accusation.

In December, the NFL permitted Garrett to return to join his club at the team practice facility, which was an indication that he would ultimately be allowed to play in the 2020 season. Still, the league has given no official word on what’s next for No. 95.

Garrett, 24, has recorded 30.5 sacks for the Browns over the past three seasons. Remarkably, he’s done that in just 37 total games – Garrett lost a combined eleven games due to injury in his rookie season and last year’s ban.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Browns’ Myles Garrett

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he’ll meet with Browns defensive end Myles Garrett in the next 60 days (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). Garrett is under indefinite suspension from the NFL for his actions in an ugly November brawl with the Steelers and quarterback Mason Rudolph

One league source told Cabot that he expects Garrett to be reinstated after meeting with Goodell, though the commish declined to speculate on how the meeting might go. Already, Garrett has been withheld from six games, costing him $1.14MM in lost pay, not including his $45K fine.

Garrett struck Rudolph with his helmet and later alleged that the QB used a racial slur against him. Rudolph and his attorney have vehemently denied the accusation.

Recently, Garrett was permitted to return to the Browns’ practice facility, which may be an indication that the league is ready to welcome him back. Meanwhile, teammates tell Cabot that Garrett has been in good spirits.

If Garrett is re-instated after meeting with Goodell, he’ll be eligible to partake in the Browns’ voluntary offseason program, which gets underway on April 6.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Landry, Garrett, Bears, Lions

Both of the Browns‘ starting wide receivers may need offseason surgeries. While Odell Beckham Jr. has been battling a sports hernia injury that is not yet certain to require a corrective procedure, Jarvis Landry‘s hip problem might need to be operated on next year, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes. Landry has dealt with a hip injury all season, though the malady’s severity is uncertain. Landry has not missed a game this season, but going into his third Browns campaign, it appears likely he will miss some of the team’s offseason program. With Freddie Kitchens a possible one-and-done candidate, an offseason absence could loom larger considering a new playbook may be en route.

Here is more out of Cleveland and the latest from other North-division locales:

  • Although Myles Garrett is suspended indefinitely, he is now allowed back at the Browns’ facility, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. The NFL initially barred Garrett from team headquarters but has since permitted the Pro Bowl defensive end to return to the team’s Berea, Ohio, complex. However, Garrett remains ineligible to attend Browns meetings or practices. But he’s allowed to work individually with Browns training and medical personnel in the building, per Ulrich.
  • Mitchell Trubisky‘s uneven play, especially when compared to draft classmates Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, has been the primary Bears talking point this season. But the third-year quarterback has fared better as of late, and Joel Corry of CBS Sports expects the team to pick up his fifth-year option by May (Twitter link). That 2021 option price is expected to come in at approximately $25MM. Fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury only.
  • The Bears opted not to retain former safety starter Adrian Amos, adding Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on a buy-low deal instead. Chicago likely will make a strong effort to keep Eddie Jackson, and Corry expects the third-year safety to command a top-market contract (Twitter link). The safety market reignited in 2019, and Kevin Byard‘s $14.1MM-per-year deal current represents the position’s top figure. A 2017 fifth-round pick who is now a two-time Pro Bowler, Jackson becomes extension-eligible at the end of the regular season.
  • Darius Slay was mentioned in trade talks before this year’s deadline. Were the Lions to attempt to unload their top cornerback in the offseason, the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers expects a second-round pick to be around the level of compensation for which the team could aim. However, with perhaps both Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia on the hot seat in 2020, it would probably behoove them to retain their top cover man rather than deal him for a Day 2 pick. Slay, however, skipped the Lions’ 2019 offseason program while lobbying for a new contract. His current deal expires after next season.

QB Notes: Wentz, Rudolph, Darnold, Carr

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz struggled once again in Philadelphia’s 17-9 loss to the Seahawks. Wentz received a x-ray on his right hand during the second half of the game, but would not blame his poor play on the injury, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. In his postgame press conference, when asked if the injury affected his play, he said, “I don’t think it did.” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson clarified that the x-rays were negative, but Wentz would go through further tests.

Whether the injury played a role or not, Philadelphia needs to find an answer for their offensive woes. Wentz made a number of poor decisions, but two passes to open receivers in the flat that sailed well out of reach were especially emblematic of his problems. The Eagles are now 5-6 on the season, but have a vital stretch of their schedule against Miami, New York, and Washington. It will be crucial for their playoff chances to come out victorious against three of the weakest teams in the league.

Check out some other notes on quarterbacks around the league:

  • After being benched in the Steelers 16-10 win over the Bengals, quarterback Mason Rudolph addressed allegations from Browns defensive end Myles Garrett that Rudolph used a racial slur last week on Thursday Night Football. Rudolph adamantly denied the claims with reporters after the game, writes Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t believe that he would go that route after the fact. But it is what it is and I think I’ve moved on. One day it was tough, but moved on. We’re good to go now.” Rudolph reiterated the claims were “totally untrue” and when asked if he said anything that could have been construed in a racist way he said, ““Absolutely not.’’
  • Young quarterback Sam Darnold was criticized a few weeks ago for talking about the playoffs with half the season remaining, but the young Jets gunslinger is showing progress dealing with the media, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN. Darnold mentioned that the playoffs were in the back of his mind after 34-3 blowout win against the Raiders, but quickly made clear that he is taking the season one game at a time. This season has definitely been a roller coaster for Darnold who is still looking to string a few strong games together after missing the start of the season dealing with mononucleosis.
  • Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was benched amidst a blowout loss to the Jets by head coach Jon Gruden. The move is not meant to create any controversy at the position, however. Carr was removed alongside other important players in Oakland’s rotation to protect them from injury down 31 in the third quarter. Still, Gruden acknowledged the difficulty decision talking with reporters after the game, according to Jerry McDonald of The Mercury News. “I didn’t want to take him out, but doing what I think is right and I’m sure I’ll be second-guessed for that but I think I’m doing what’s right for our football team.”

La Canfora’s Latest: Rivers, Garrett, Smith

CBS Sports scribe Jason La Canfora published his usual Sunday slate of items from around the league, including reports on the future of Panthers HC Ron Rivera in Carolina and the Titanspotential desire to re-sign QB Ryan Tannehill. Let’s take a look at a few more notes from JLC:

  • Chargers QB Philip Rivers is eligible for free agency at season’s end, and in light of his struggles in 2019, there has already been plenty of speculation about his future with the Bolts. La Canfora says the team is currently not planning on having any extension talks with Rivers’ camp, and for his part, Rivers has shown no desire in promoting the team’s move to Los Angeles (he still lives in San Diego and spends up to four hours a day commuting to and from the Chargers’ facility). La Canfora suggests that the Chargers, who may not be picking high enough in the 2020 draft to land a top collegiate passer, could move on from Rivers but may pursue a veteran signal-caller like Cam Newton.
  • La Canfora details all of the steps the league took to investigate Browns‘ DE Myles Garrett‘s claim that Steelers QB Mason Rudolph used a racial slur in the lead-up to the now infamous brawl between the two clubs, and the NFL did not find a shred of corroborating evidence. The good news for Cleveland is that the league currently has no intention of extending Garrett’s suspension into the 2020 season. Garrett will be required to schedule a meeting with the league and the union to have a “check-in” of sorts, but assuming that goes well, he should be reinstated without incident.
  • Former Texans GM Rick Smith left the team after the 2017 season when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, but he is open to returning to the league in 2020 should the right opportunity emerge. He is apparently ready and able to assume all duties that go along with running a franchise, and since there may be fewer elite GM candidates in 2020 than in years past, Smith could be appealing to a number of clubs. Although Houston is currently without a GM, La Canfora says a reunion between the two sides is not in the cards.