Myles Garrett is committed to Cleveland for the long haul, and the Browns believe his best football is in front of him.
The Pro Bowl pass rusher on Wednesday signed a five-year contract extension that will run through the 2026 season.
"One of our fundamental organizational beliefs is identifying young players on our roster and proactively retaining them as part of our present and future core. We go through great lengths to select players whose make-up and performance embody the characteristics we are looking for within our team. Today, we're delighted that Myles Garrett will be a Cleveland Brown for many years to come," said Andrew Berry, the Browns' EVP of Football Operations and General Manager. "Myles' rare physical gifts in conjunction with his work ethic, intellect and humility have been the catalysts behind an auspicious start to his young career. Despite his early individual successes, Myles maintains the same drive toward greatness that he displayed as a 22-year old rookie. We firmly believe that this intense focus means the best is yet to come."
The No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Garrett has been a force from the moment he collected his first NFL sack on the first snap of his professional career. Over three seasons, Garrett has compiled 30.5 sacks in just 37 games — the most ever by a Browns player in his first three seasons. He's also amassed 104 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and six forced fumbles.
Garrett, who had 10 sacks in 10 games last season, is the only player in Browns history to post multiple double-digit sack seasons.
Garrett, an Arlington, Texas, native who starred at Texas A&M, burst onto the scene with the Browns in 2017 despite missing the first four games of the season with a high ankle sprain and playing through the pain of it the rest of the way. He had two sacks in the first game of his career and five more along the way to finish with seven as a rookie and land a spot on the PFWA's All-Rookie team.
"In 2017, the Cleveland Browns bet on me," Garrett said. "This city quickly became my home and these people quickly became my family. I'm eternally grateful for this opportunity, the support of my friends and family, the organization, my teammates, the fans—I could go on forever, but even that wouldn't be enough time to express my gratitude. I'll just say this: Keep betting on me, Cleveland, because I won't let you down. Now, let's get to work."
The Browns signed Garrett to a five-year contract extension Wednesday and made him the highest-paid defensive player in the league. Cleveland will be home to Garrett's dominance and record-breaking potential through 2026, and his presence alone will make the Browns defense difficult to prepare for an opposing quarterback every Sunday.
In 2018, Garrett was named a team captain and delivered a career-best 13.5 sacks — just shy of the Browns' single-season record of 14 (Reggie Camp, 1984) — and 44 tackles to earn second-team All-Pro Honors and land in his first Pro Bowl. He added three forced fumbles and a blocked kick while playing in all 16 games.
This past season, Garrett had 10 sacks and two forced fumbles before his year was cut short by an indefinite suspension following his actions in the Browns' Week 11 victory over the Steelers.
"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," Berry said. "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 has been more than a force on the field since joining the Browns. He's used his platform for good in a variety of ways, including his work with Waterboys, which works to bring clean water to communities in need in East Africa. Garrett has been the organization's player captain since 2019 and made a trip to Tanzania for a humanitarian trip earlier in the offseason. In March, Garrett teamed with the Cleveland Hope Exchange to donate 24,000 pounds of food and additional resources to those in need in Cleveland's Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
"I think it's really important for us as an organization to cement Myles' status here for a really long time," Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski said. "He was drafted No. 1 overall, and you've seen over the years what an extremely bright future this young player has. I think it was a prudent decision on Andrew's part and Myles' part to keep Myles here for many productive seasons. Myles' skillset, I think, is still scratching the surface. He's young, and I can't wait to get our hands on him and put him in this scheme and let him loose.
"He's as disruptive as they come. He's big, long, fast, quick and has a motor. He checks all the boxes. I think he fits so perfectly into what we want to be schematically in terms of getting off the football and being in attack mode for 60 minutes."