The fifth-year option will cost the team $13.294 million in 2022, according to Over The Cap.
This move does not prevent the Browns from working on a long-term deal for Ward over the next year or so.
Ward, 24, was the fourth-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s entering the fourth year of a four-year, $29.165 million rookie deal he signed with the Browns in 2018 that included a $19.291 million signing bonus.
In 2020, Ward recorded two interceptions, 18 passes defensed, and one forced fumble to go with 46 total tackles. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 23 cornerback out of 121 qualifying players.