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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Browns exercise QB Baker Mayfield's 5-year option

Fri Apr 23 10:30am ET
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., in this Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, file photo. The Browns exercised the fifth-year option on quarterback Baker Mayfield's rookie contract, an expected move after his strong 2020 season. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)


CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns exercised the fifth-year option on quarterback Baker Mayfield's rookie contract on Friday, an expected move after his strong 2020 season.

The team did the same with top cornerback Denzel Ward's contract.

Mayfield had 30 touchdown passes last season and led the Browns to their first playoff appearance in nearly 20 years. Cleveland won its first postseason game since 1994, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round before losing to Kansas City.

The team had until May 3 to exercise the option, which means Mayfield, who was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2018, is under contract for 2021 and 2022 - and those deals are guaranteed.

The Browns may soon discuss a long-term extension with Mayfield, who has shown major growth on and off the field during his three seasons with Cleveland, easing concerns last year about whether he was their long-term solution at QB.

Ward was drafted three picks after the Browns selected Mayfield three years ago. The former Ohio State standout has developed into one of the NFL's better coverage cornerbacks. Ward, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, has seven interceptions in three seasons.

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Player Notes
Kamren Curl May 14 5:20pm ET

Former Miami Dolphins safety Bobby McCain is signing an undisclosed one-year deal with the Washington Football Team on Friday, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. McCain was a starter and team captain over six seasons with the Dolphins before he was released this offseason, but he should immediately play a key role in Washington's secondary in 2021. His arrival could put Troy Apke's roster spot in jeopardy this summer, and McCain will give Kamren Curl some competition for the free safety spot. The 27-year-old was a fifth-round pick by Miami in 2015, and he spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Dolphins. McCain totaled 46 tackles (39 solo), one interception and five passes defensed in 16 games (15 starts) last year. He has seven career interceptions and 30 passes defensed.

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DaeSean Hamilton May 14 4:40pm ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton (knee) has suffered a torn ACL, according to sources. It was reported on Thursday that the Broncos were waiving Hamilton due to a surplus of depth at the position, but he hasn't officially been waived and the team had been trying to work out a trade. In light of this injury, the Broncos are unlikely to find any trade suitors for the 26-year-old now, so expect him to be officially waived in the near future. Waiving Hamilton will save the team $2.8 million in salary cap space. He'll become the odd man out of a loaded wideout corps that includes Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick. Hamilton had 23 catches for 293 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games for Denver last year.

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Evan Engram May 14 4:10pm ET

Free-agent wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2018, is trying out with the New York Giants during their rookie minicamp this weekend as a tight end. Benjamin was a first-round pick by the Carolina Panthers back in 2014, when current Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was in charge. His best season came as a rookie, when he put up a 1,000-yard season with nine touchdowns in Carolina. He gained weight and fell out of favor, leading to a trade to Buffalo, where he played 18 games with minimal results. Benjamin played in three regular season games with the Chiefs in 2018, but hasn't seen the field since. The Giants already have Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph at the position, so it would be a long shot for Benjamin to resurface in the Big Apple as a tight end.

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Joe Tryon May 14 4:00pm ET

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Aaron Rodgers May 14 4:00pm ET

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Antonio Brown May 14 3:50pm ET

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Justin Fields May 14 3:40pm ET

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Jordan Hicks May 14 3:40pm ET

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Jaylen Waddle May 14 3:30pm ET

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Tom Brady May 14 9:23am ET

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Fantasy Spin: Brady doesn't have a lot of upside as the fourth or fifth QB in fantasy, but you know what you'll get from him.

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Kyle Sloter May 13 11:33pm ET

Free-agent QB Kyle Sloter (Raiders) will participate in the Chicago Bears upcoming rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

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Jamin Davis May 13 10:10pm ET

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Kelvin Benjamin May 13 9:53pm ET

Free-agent WR Kelvin Benjamin (Chiefs) is expected to participate in the New York Giants rookie minicamp this weekend on a tryout basis, according to a source.

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Mike Hughes May 13 7:43pm ET

Minnesota Vikings CB Mike Hughes has been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday, May 13, in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round draft choice. The Chiefs will also receive a 2022 seventh-round draft choice in the trade.

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Breeland Speaks May 13 5:53pm ET

New York Giants DE Breeland Speaks was waived Thursday, May 13.

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Mike Hughes May 13 5:20pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs acquired cornerback Mike Hughes and a 2022 seventh-round pick from the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick, according to a source. Minnesota declined their fifth-year option on the former first-round pick a week ago after the 24-year-old has dealt with serious injuries throughout his time with the Vikings. Hughes played in just four games last season and has 80 tackles, 13 pass breakups and two interceptions (one for a touchdown) in 24 games (seven starts) in his three seasons in the NFL with the Vikes. The writing was on the wall for Hughes in Minnesota when the team signed All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson in free agency. The Chiefs will take a low-risk flier on Hughes and cross their fingers that he can stay healthy to give them extra cornerback depth.

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Eddy Pineiro May 13 5:10pm ET

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Dre Kirkpatrick May 13 5:03pm ET

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DaeSean Hamilton May 13 3:20pm ET

The Denver Broncos are waiving wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton on Thursday, according to a source. The Broncos have a surplus of depth at the position and had trade talks involving the former fourth-round pick, but they couldn't finalize a deal. There's a strong possibility that Hamilton is claimed off waivers by another team. The 26-year-old caught 23 of his 44 targets last year for 293 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games (two starts). In his three seasons with the Broncos, Hamilton recorded 81 receptions for 833 yards and five touchdowns in 46 games (nine starts). With Courtland Sutton returning from injury this year, the Broncos will also have second-year wideouts Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick in the fold in four-receiver sets.

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