The Chiefs got a better deal than the Browns in recent contract talks.
Tuesday has been a huge day for NFL defensive linemen.
First came a four-year extension worth up to $85 million for Chris Jones. The Kansas City Chiefs locked up their guy on defense after just handing out a large fortune to Patrick Mahomes.
The Jones news was set to dominate the news cycle until a new bombshell dropped regarding the amount of money the Cleveland Browns plan to spend on Myles Garrett. A fair initial reaction is to say the Chiefs got the better bargain.
The Chiefs and Browns are retaining top talent.
Garrett was destined to receive a major extension due to his status as a former No. 1 overall pick. He has made one Pro Bowl in his first three seasons and could have made another last year if not for a suspension after he slammed a helmet on Mason Rudolph’s head.
That action had the possibility to hurt his value, but the Browns supported their former top pick and are reportedly close on handing him a deal worth $25 million annually.
Yet there are still question marks surrounding Garrett. Injuries limited him to 11 games in his rookie season, and while he comes off as a genuinely nice guy, his hit on Rudolph was not the first time he did something on the field worthy of a fine or suspension.
Meanwhile, Jones has been available during his four-year career. 2019 marked the first time he did not appear in all 16 games, but he still managed to record nine sacks to get his career total to 33. He also made the Pro Bowl and had 20 quarterback hits.
The one thing working against Jones, compared to Garrett, was the fact he was a second-round pick. He played well above expectations, just without the initial expectation of being owed a major extension the day he was drafted.
The Browns set up their roster to allow for a Garrett extension and eventually one for Baker Mayfield if he has a solid 2020 season. There is no shortage of money right now, but sinking $25 million per year into Garrett remains risky given how his career has gone through three seasons.
Garrett should not be judged solely for his one mistake — albeit a serious one — last year with Rudolph. But when it comes to handing out big money, there is still a fair amount of concern. That is before mentioning he played on a hurt ankle through much of the 2017 campaign.
The Browns are in a totally different spot than the Chiefs, and even if Garrett had underperformed, the team retaining a first-round pick for once is big news.
The Chiefs are looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions and getting Jones back helps in a big way. The hope in Cleveland is that a similar formula can be followed. Having too much money committed to star players will be a good problem for once.