Myles Garrett

Browns Place S Ronnie Harrison On IR, Activate Myles Garrett

The Browns have activated defensive end Myles Garrett from the reserve/COVID-19 list. To make room on the roster, they’ve placed safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Garrett was leading the NFL in sacks up until he was placed on the reserve list in November. After missing the last two games, his 9.5 sacks are still good for a second-place tie with Saints DE Trey Hendrickson. Rams star Aaron Donald now leads the pack with ten sacks.

The Browns have managed to stay hot without Garrett, beating the Eagles and Jaguars over the last two weeks. Now, they’ll have him back on the field just in the nick of time for this week’s game against the 8-3 Titans.

Harrison, 23, has been first string for the Browns since Week 5. Unfortunately, he went down on the very first play against the Jaguars — his former team — and his MRI revealed a serious tear. It’s just the latest blow to a Browns secondary that has also lost safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Greedy Williams to injury. Despite it all, the Browns are 8-3 and on track to snap the NFL’s longest playoff drought.

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Latest On Browns’ Myles Garrett

Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett will remain on the COVID-19 reserve list this week, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. With that, Garrett will be held out of Sunday’s contest against the Jaguars, marking his second straight missed game.

Garrett was parked the reserve list last week, keeping him out of their Week 11 game against the Eagles. They still managed to win 22-17 without their top defensive player, thanks to Sione Takitaki’s pick-six and Olivier Vernon’s sack/safety. The front seven delivered, just in the nick of time. Heading into Week 11, Garrett had 9.5 sacks to lead the league while everyone else on the Browns had combined for just 12.5 sacks.

The Browns are now 7-3, but they’ll have to continue their playoff push without Garrett for at least one more week. Per the NFL’s coronavirus protocols, Garrett can’t return to the team until at least 24 hours after his symptoms have passed. There’s no word yet on his status or specifics on any symptoms that Garrett may have experienced since he was placed on the reserve list.

If the Browns keep things up, they’ll have an opportunity to snap their 18-year playoff drought, the longest in the NFL.

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Myles Garrett Tests Positive For COVID-19

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list, per a club announcement. Garrett did not practice this week due to an undisclosed illness, and Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes the fourth-year pass rusher has indeed tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The Browns will be without Garrett for this week’s game against the Eagles, at minimum. The former No. 1 overall pick is now in jeopardy of missing Week 12’s Jaguars game as well.

Garrett currently leads the league with 9.5 sacks and his presence will be missed as they look to advance to 7-3 in a sardine-packed AFC North. The former Texas A&M star joins tackle Jack Conklin, fullback Andy Janovich, kicker Cody Parkey, and tackle Chris Hubbard on the Browns’ reserve list. On the plus side, “zero high-risk contacts have been identified” in connection to Garrett, per the team’s press release.

The Browns gave Garrett a record-breaking extension in July and, so far, he’s done his part to live up to the deal. While he leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks, the rest of the Browns’ D has just 12.5 sacks combined. While he isolates, the Browns will need the rest of the front seven to step things up and keep the pressure on.

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Browns Notes: Garrett, OBJ, Mayfield

On Sunday, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett will face off against the Steelers for the first time since last year’s infamous contest. During the final moments of Cleveland’s win over Pittsburgh last November, Garrett ripped off the helmet of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and proceeded to hit him over the head with the object. The fracas resulted in a season-ending suspension for Garrett.

The 2017 first-overall pick told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that he considered walking away from the game during his ban.

“I would’ve been OK,” Garrett said. “I love football. I love competing, I love my teammates, and I definitely want to win, but at the end of the day, I’m still a guy. I’m still a young man who has a lot of life to live and my life is much more than football. I just would’ve moved onto something else I enjoy and found another way to save my competitive nature, whether it would’ve been trying out for a basketball team or going to play baseball like [Michael] Jordan.

“I would’ve found something else I love to do, whether I was a writing coach or whatever. I would’ve left with my head held high and I wouldn’t have looked back.”

Garrett hasn’t missed a step following his return to the field. Through the first five games of the 2020 campaign, the 24-year-old has 15 tackles, six sacks, and a league-leading three forced fumbles.

Some more notes out of Cleveland:

  • Garrett also told Cabot that he’d welcome a face-to-face meeting with Randolph. “If it were to happen, I’d be fine with it,” he said. “Not just fine, but I wouldn’t mind it and I’d be happy to make it happen, if there were a way. I’m not sure how I’d go about that, how I’d broach that. I’m not even sure if he’d want to do that but I wouldn’t have a problem sitting down with him and just not talking about the incident, just talking man-to-man, how we move forward, and just being better men and football players and not letting something like that happen again…Whether we can do that, I’m not sure, but I’d be willing to extend the olive branch and make that happen.”
  • Cabot tweets that wideout Odell Beckham Jr. had his second COVID-19 test come back negative today. As a result, he’s been cleared to play against the Steelers tomorrow. The receiver was sent home Thursday after coming down with an illness, and he stayed away from the team facility on Friday. ESPN’s Jake Trotter notes that Beckham continued to participate in meetings remotely. Following a three-touchdown performance in Week 4, Beckham had five receptions for 58 yards during last week’s win over the Colts.
  • After suffering a rib injury during last weekend’s win, Baker Mayfield was a limited participant at practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Fortunately, he was back to full participation on Friday, and despite his questionable tag for tomorrow’s game, it sounds like the quarterback is on track to play. “Like we’ve been saying all along, he’s improving every day,” said head coach Kevin Stefanski (via the team’s website).

Browns Give Myles Garrett Record Extension

The Browns and Myles Garrett agreed to a deal Tuesday that would make the Pro Bowl pass rusher the league’s highest-paid defensive player. Garrett signed the contract Wednesday.

The deal will make Garrett the NFL’s highest-paid defender. It will be worth $125MM over five years, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This comes in $1.5MM north of the NFL’s previous highest-paid defender, Khalil Mack.

Cleveland will guarantee Garrett $100MM — $50MM at signing — and has its top defender signed through 2026, Rapoport tweets. The $100MM figure will surpass Mack as well, though the Bears edge rusher’s $60MM fully guaranteed will still lead all defenders.

Despite the ugly end to Garrett’s 2019 season, this process has moved fast. The Browns began extension talks with their star defensive end barely a month ago, and the team with the most cap space appears on the verge of resetting the defender market. This would give the league two new market-topping deals in two weeks, with Patrick Mahomes agreeing to a $45MM-per-year pact July 6.

Although Cleveland has a new GM, Andrew Berry was with the team when Garrett went No. 1 overall in 2017. Berry has been active this offseason, authorizing big-money payments to Jack Conklin and Austin Hooper. Garrett’s deal, though, would be the foundational piece of a Browns defense that largely consists of rookie contracts. Garrett is signed through 2021, after the Browns picked up his fifth-year option.

Garrett’s resume is not on Mack’s level just yet, but he’s nearly five years younger — at 24 — and has become one of the game’s best pass rushers. The former Texas A&M standout registered 13.5 sacks and 29 QB knockdowns in 2018. He was on his way to a better statistical season last year, recording 10 sacks in 10 games. But the NFL suspended Garrett for the rest of 2019 after he struck Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet. Roger Goodell reinstated Garrett earlier this year.

Prior to Garrett, the Browns had squandered several first-round investments — from Johnny Manziel to Justin Gilbert to Corey Coleman — in recent drafts. This massive extension coming to pass would represent a tide change for a Cleveland team that has not seen many homegrown players come through worthy of such an accord in the modern era.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

[RELATED: Browns Hire Joe Woods As DC]

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.