Former first-round pick addresses future with Browns
Cleveland Browns cornerback Greg Newsome II. Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Former first-round pick addresses future with Browns

Last week, the Browns exercised the $13.3M fifth-year option on cornerback Greg Newsome II, their first-round pick (No. 26) in the 2021 NFL Draft.

It guarantees the 23-year-old at least one more season in Cleveland, but he hopes to get some long-term security with the team sooner rather than later.

"Extension-wise, we haven't really talked about that," Newsome said, via Scott Petrak of BrownsZone.com. "Honestly, I'm just focused on trying to get us as high as we can this year and whatever happens after that happens. But like I said before, I would love to be a Cleveland Brown for life."

Before the Browns picked up Newsome's option, he was subject to trade rumors in the offseason, and rightfully so, as it's rare a talented cornerback could potentially come available.

Over the past three seasons, Newsome has registered 128 tackles, one sack, two interceptions and 29 passes defensed.

Cleveland clearly values Newsome, but the question is, does the team view him as a key piece of its defense for years to come?

If so, the Browns should do their best to lock him up long term as soon as possible. If not, however, Newsome's days in Cleveland could be numbered.

The team already handed fellow cornerback Denzel Ward a five-year, $100.5M contract extension in 2022, and with several other talented players to soon pay, Newsome could be the odd man out.

For now, Newsome seems to have a good attitude about the lack of extension talks, saying he's "super blessed" the Browns picked up his fifth-year option, but there's no arguing he wants to remain in Cleveland for much longer.

It's rare that teams pay two cornerbacks top dollar, but if Newsome continues playing at a high level in 2024, it may force the Browns to give him the payday he's looking for.

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