*Attached video: Browns stadium is getting a name change
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jedrick Wills Jr. is getting more time to prove to the Cleveland Browns that he’s worth a long-term investment.
The team has picked up the fifth-year contract option for Wills, the No. 10 overall pick in 2020 out of Alabama. He has started 45 games for the Browns, but the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder has been plagued by inconsistency in his first three seasons.
While the move was expected, it wasn’t guaranteed. General manager Andrew Berry declined to discuss Wills’ future on Saturday during the NFL draft, leading to speculation the Browns may have had other plans.
The team had until Tuesday to pick up the option, which will be worth $14.1 million. He is under contract for two more seasons and the Browns can work out a longer deal with him if they feel Willis is worth keeping.
The Browns have one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, led by coach Bill Callahan.
Wills played right tackle in college before switching to the left side, which didn’t become a pressing need for the Browns until 2018 when 10-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas retired. Thomas is being enshrined in the Hall of Fame this summer.
Wills hasn’t played poorly; it’s more that he hasn’t been dominant. However, the team felt he made major progress in 2022 that he can build upon.