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Browns Exercise Fifth-Year Options on Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward

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The Cleveland Browns have picked up the fifth-year contract options for quarterback Baker Mayfield and cornerback Denzel Ward, the team announced Friday.

Mayfield was selected with the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft while Ward was taken with the fourth-overall pick. Each will now be under contract through the 2022 season.

“Both of those players have really done a nice job for us over the first three years,” Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry said on a conference call with reporters Friday. “We view both of those guys as young players who continue to ascend.”

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Mayfield took a significant leap in 2020, his first season under head coach Kevin Stefanski. He completed 62.8% of his passes for 3,563 yards and 26 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. Mayfield has tossed 35 interceptions over his first two seasons combined.

With his option exercised Friday, Mayfield is set to make $18.86 million in 2020. He is also eligible for a contract extension, which he and the organization can still negotiate this offseason.

Ward was selected to his first and only Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2018, but has been solid since. While he did miss four games in 2020, he still managed to finish tied for second in the league with 18 pass broken up. He has seven career interceptions and 40 passes defended.

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