Browns sign Garrett to 5-year, $125 million extension

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FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2019, file photo, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. The Browns are closing in on a massive contract extension with Garrett, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 and one of the NFL's premiere edge rushers, and the team could have the deal completed in the next day or so, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

CLEVELAND – Myles Garrett's on-field misbehavior last season damaged his public image. It didn't change how the Cleveland Browns feel about him.

The team signed Garrett to a five-year, $125 million contract extension on Wednesday, making the talented edge rusher the NFL's highest-paid defensive player. The deal includes $100 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network.

The timing of Garrett's extension is surprising since the last time he played in a game it ended with him ripping off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet and striking him in the head with it. The shocking attack led to a six-game suspension for Garrett and questions about his character.

But despite a league ban that effectively ended Cleveland's playoff hopes, the Browns have never wavered in their belief in Garrett as a person or player. They wanted to make certain they'll have the 24-year-old for multiple years, and he will now anchor their defense through the 2026 season.

“It would be remiss of me not to address the fact that we are choosing to do this after a season during which Myles was suspended,” said Browns first-year general manager Andrew Berry.

“Myles has been accountable for his mistake and we view the incident as well out of character. We don’t believe one moment should define him based on how he has handled himself prior to and in the months after last year’s incident.

"We are excited to ensure that Myles will stay in Cleveland for the foreseeable future.”

Garrett posted a video on Instagram of him signing the deal and then writing a note he pushed in front of the camera that said: “Cleveland keep betting on me. World keep betting against us.”