Myles Garrett will ink a new deal with the Cleveland Browns worth $125 million dollars over five years.
Myles Garrett is pretty beloved in the city of Cleveland, and by the Cleveland Browns organization. That’s why the team is giving him an outlandish five-year, $125 million dollars. That deal eeks out to about $25 million a year, but that’s not equating for the money in the signing bonus, how much of it is guaranteed, and all that jazz. Now that the deal that just made Garrett the highest-paid defensive player in the league has been revealed but does Garrett deserve it?
In short, no but he could.
You don’t sign talent based on just what they could do, but based on what they’ve done and what you expect them to do. Garrett has shown that he can be a pretty imposing force when he’s motivated, see 2018, though he’s not always motivated. See 2017 and 2019. It’s been well documented that Garrett can disappear for games at a time, resulting in next to no real tangible impact on the game.
Sure, some will argue that his “presence” forces a team to plan for him, but if he’s getting handled by a left tackle all game, he’s not actually doing much of anything. If this contract was for $18 million, sure, one could see the logic in the deal. Yet, it’s not. It’s for a heck of a lot more, and Garrett has yet to show he can be a game-changing player on the level of Aaron Donald or J.J. Watt.
In fact, he’s never shown that. Even in his lone year where he played all 16 games, he didn’t take over the defense. That’s not to say that he can’t have a few years where he’s on a Donald or Watt like level, but as of July of 2020, he’s yet to showcase that type of season-long dominance.
A deal similar to that of Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs makes more sense. Jones signed a four-year, $85 million dollar deal. Jones is also more versatile than Garrett, a better run stopper than Garrett, healthier of Garrett, isn’t considered “dirty” like Garrett is, and oh yeah, a better pass rusher than Garrett.
If Garrett can line up over the guard and center and bull rush his way to a sack, then we’ll say it’s a wash on who’s the better pass rusher, because Jones can beat a tackle and split the inside just as easily.
If Garrett was given a $20-$21 million dollar deal a year with incentives, that’d be fair. This is a bit much though. Granted, and this needs to be stressed, if the base salary is around $20 million and the rest are incentives, then this is a good deal. The particulars are not out yet, so we’ll re-evaluate when that stuff becomes known.
While concerns for him being overpaid are valid, what should be commended is that the Browns locked up a potential Hall of Fame-caliber player for a total of seven years. This isn’t just a five-year deal, this is a five-year extension. If Garrett plays the next seven years as he did in 2018, where he wasn’t getting in trouble, he wasn’t getting hurt and was effective all season long instead of in chunks, then this would have been an amazing deal.
Yet, Garrett’s only played one full season. That’s where the issue lies. Be optimistic that he can stay healthy and stay out of trouble. Just don’t pretend that this contract doesn’t come with some serious risks compared to others.
The official grade for this contract is pessimistically optimistic.