Garrett, who was having his best season and a Brown with ten sacks in ten games, would be suspended indefinitely for the remainder of the 2019 season following a fight with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in which he used his helmet to strike him for allegedly using a racial slur. Garrett would ultimately be reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but by then, the damage to his otherwise clean image was done.
With Garrett now under the Browns control for two more seasons, as he will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021-22 season, Cleveland has time to weigh, explore and research just how much it would take to retain the former Texas A & M edge rusher, and determine how contract talks would go.
According to the salary cap website, Over The Cap, Chicago Bears edge rusher, Khalil Mack is the highest-paid DE at $141 million with a total of $90 million guaranteed and an average salary of $23.5 million. Currently 29, Mack’s deal will pay out in full by the time he is 34 and set to hit free agency again in 2025. If Garrett, who is five years younger at 24, and his agent, James “Bus” Cook of BC Sports—who also reps rumored Browns free agent target, Jadeveon Clowney—were to use a baseline in negotiations for an extension and long-term deal, then a deal averaging $25 million a year is not out of the question, per media reports.
If one were to speculate on the details, it would something in the range of five years and $145 million which would topple Mack’s deal by four million in overall value and yearly salary by $2.5 million. Perhaps the main sticking point in the ongoing contract talks is the amount of guaranteed money.
Whatever is ultimately decided and agreed upon, Garrett’s 30 sacks in his three and a half years in Cleveland has been nothing short of impressive, and is something surely to help in leveraging himself a record-breaking new deal.