Baker Mayfield’s contract with Cleveland Browns extended through 2022

Sports

**In the video, above, Browns GM Andrew Berry talks about the NFL Draft**

CLEVELAND (WJW/AP) — It looks like Baker Mayfield will stay the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns — at least through 2022, FOX 8’s John Telich confirmed Friday.

The Browns have exercised the fifth-year option on Mayfield.

Our John Telich also confirmed the Browns have exercised a fifth-year option on Denzel Ward.

The news on Baker Mayfield was first reported by ESPN’s Jake Trotter. Trotter tweeted Friday morning that the move extends the QB’s contract in Cleveland through 2022, when he’ll reportedly make nearly $19 million.

Mayfield bounced back from a shaky 2019 season to throw 30 touchdown passes last season while leading the Browns to an 11-5 regular-season record, their first playoff appearance since the 2002 season and their first postseason win since 1994 — a wild-card victory over rival Pittsburgh.

The 26-year-old is the franchise QB the Browns have longed for, and now the club will consider signing him to a long-term extension. In the meantime, Mayfield is under contract for the next two seasons, with his 2022 salary guaranteed for $18.8 million.

The Browns had until May 3 to exercise the options on Mayfield and Ward, who will make $13.3 million in his final year.

“Both of those players have just done a really nice job for us over the first three years,” general manager Andrew Berry said in a pre-NFL draft conference call. “Both had very strong seasons for us in 2020 and we view both of those guys as young players who are continuing ascending and they’re going to be a big part of what we do as we move forward.”

Berry wouldn’t address if the club has had any preliminary talks with Mayfield or his agents about a long-term deal.

“I think you know me well enough that I’m not going to talk on that in this setting; I just don’t think it’s appropriate,” he said. “But obviously you know both of those players are extension eligible.”

Berry said the club will not be swayed by anything Baltimore or Buffalo does with quarterbacks Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen, who were drafted in the same class as Mayfield and are likely to get long-term extensions from their teams.

Mayfield has shown major growth on and off the field during his three seasons with Cleveland, easing concerns last year about whether he was their long-term solution at QB.

Ward, who is from Cleveland and starred at Ohio State, has developed into one of the league’s better coverage cornerbacks. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and has seven interceptions in three seasons.

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