Wyatt Teller never doubted the opportunity ahead of him when his football career took an unexpected turn to Cleveland.
Teller wanted to become the best player he could be as soon as he arrived in Berea. That happened after Teller, a fifth-round pick by Buffalo in 2018, was traded to the Browns before the 2019 season. The change of teams just two years into his career took him by surprise but gave him more motivation to leave a mark on whatever franchise wanted him most.
"I looked at (the trade) as a disappointment," Teller told local reporters on a Zoom call Tuesday. "But through that adversity, I realized it was more because I was wanted by a team and given an opportunity.
"That was Cleveland."
So Teller went to work. By the middle of 2019, he was the Browns' starting right guard. By the middle of 2020, he emerged as one of the best linemen in the game.
Now, in the middle of 2021, he's set his long-term future with the franchise that believed in him — and still does.
Teller signed a contract extension Tuesday that solidified his future with the Browns through the 2025 season. The deal comes two days after Teller delivered another round of highlight-worthy blocks in Week 9 and paved the way for another standout performance from the Browns' run game. None of that was surprising to anyone who's watched Teller blossom with the Browns.
Cleveland wants even more of that, and now it's set to get it from Teller for the next four seasons.
"It's truly amazing," Teller said about his journey. "I owe it to these guys in the (offensive line) room. I owe it to the team. I'm thankful for the fans of Cleveland. Offensive linemen are loved. They're glorified here. It's just a special city."
The Browns announced Tuesday that Wyatt Teller has signed a contract extension through the 2025 season. Teller took over as the team's starting right guard in Week 9 in 2019 and has played a major role in helping the Browns build one of the best run games in the league ever since.
Since Teller became the Browns' starting right guard in Week 9 of 2019, the Browns rank third in the NFL with an average of 142.3 rushing yards per game and third in the league with an average of 4.82 yards per carry. Cleveland leads the NFL this season in rushing yards (1,442), rushing average (5.28), rushing touchdowns (16) and rushes of 10-plus yards (46).
Teller — who carries a Pro Football Focus grade this season of 89.8, second-best among all guards in the NFL — has been one crucial piece of the offensive puzzle, but he credited those around him who have helped him ascend to such a pivotal role in the offense.
Offensive line coach Bill Callahan was one of them. Callahan's keen eye, strict coaching and the additional guidance from assistant coach Scott Peters, has turned Teller into one of the biggest beasts on the offense. Teller's explosion in 2020 helped turn the Browns O-Line into one of the best in the league, and that trend has continued in 2021.
"(Callahan) gets us working out there," he said. "I'm extremely thankful for his guidance and coaching. I know that this is an amazing thing, but I have to get better and I have to continue to get better. There's so much to work on."
The extension for Teller, 26, adds another layer to what's already been an incredible year.
He proposed to his girlfriend, Carly, at the 50-yard line at FirstEnergy Stadium near the end of 2020 and married her in the spring. A month before the wedding, Teller went viral for a picture of him carrying a 10-foot alligator over his shoulders. That all followed his 2020 breakout season, which landed him second team All-Pro honors and set the stage for another big opportunity to prove himself as one of the top linemen in football.
The year for Teller, however, isn't over. He wants to make it even better by pushing the Browns to the playoffs and continuing to prove his extension was worthwhile.
Growing even more as a blocker is one way he believes he can help, and he knows the opportunity he received when he first arrived in Cleveland is still in front of him.
"It's definitely a blessing," Teller said. "It's been an amazing year. I thank God for that. But I continue to say it: The work has just begun. I have to continue to play at a high level and earn what this is."