The Cleveland Browns are finally on the right path.
It only took about two decades, but smart moves are being made.
The latest was to sign Nick Chubb to a three-year extension that keeps the star runner in town through the 2024 season.
Before that was the massive extension signed by Myles Garrett last summer.
For now, the organization is remaining vague.
#Browns GM Andrew Berry on whether he wants more games to evaluate QB Baker Mayfield for purposes of contract extension: “We feel really good with Baker's progress. He's made a ton of growth both on and off the field. We're looking forward to him having another fantastic season."
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) July 30, 2021
But at some point, a new deal is coming.
Still Time To Negotiate
Mayfield is under contract through the 2022 season after his fifth-year option was picked up.
Yet teams have made it clear they like to lock up their quarterbacks early and start building the roster around them.
Mayfield and the front office are remaining quiet, however, the quarterback knows a record deal could be in his future.
And the Browns don’t appear to be waiting to gauge his performance this year before coming up with a figure.
It would take a true year of terrible regression to ruin the plans in place.
So what is the wait?
Players want to be last, and perhaps that is why Mayfield is in no rush.
Other Pieces In Place
The Browns spent two decades stinking it up and fully bottoming out in 2016 has led the team to its current situation today.
Former top draft picks are producing and only now starting to hand out major extensions has allowed the team to have financial flexibility.
Mayfield’s deal will ultimately change that, but such is the price of drafting a franchise quarterback.
2021 thus becomes a crucial year for this franchise.
A player like Jadeveon Clowney was able to sign a one-year deal thanks to the available cap space, in the hopes of chasing a Super Bowl and getting paid even more in 2022.
The best way to win a Super Bowl is to do it with a young, cost-controlled quarterback who has not yet received his big contract.
Nick Chubb since entering the NFL in 2018:
▫️3,557 rushing yards (3rd in NFL)
▫️5.2 yards/rush (best amongst all RB)
▫️28 rushing TD (6th in NFL)
Arguably the best pure runner in the league and you won’t find a player with higher football character.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 31, 2021
Getting all the other pieces in place is a smart move, as opposed to solely focusing on Mayfield.
Because there is truly no rush at this point in time to get a deal done.
Mayfield seems to genuinely not be pushing for one, knowing his money will come soon enough.
If that is indeed true, the Browns have truly found their franchise quarterback.