According to multiple reports, the Cleveland Browns have reached an agreement on a massive contract extension with offensive guard Wyatt Teller. General manager Andrew Berry is giving Teller a four-year extension worth $56.8 million, making him one of the highest-paid interior offensive linemen in the NFL.
The timing is awfully opportune, as the 26-year-old Teller was set to hit free agency at the conclusion of the current campaign. Retaining Teller's services was always going to serve as a priority for Berry and the Browns, and all parties can now rest easy knowing that their futures have been secured.
Teller enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2020 and has successfully carried that momentum over with him in 2021. Largely considered and widely regarded as one of the best run-blocking interior linemen in the league, Teller's reputation as a nasty finisher that plays through the whistle has found its ideal match in head coach Kevin Stefanski's outside zone run-heavy approach that relies upon its two-headed monster in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Teller's timely extension is a noteworthy representation of Cleveland's all-encompassing belief in the system and scheme they continue to build on offense. With Teller now locked in through the 2025 season, Cleveland has ensured that the unit that allows them to click and operate in their desired manner will remain intact for the foreseeable future.
In addition to Teller, stud left tackle Jedrick Wills is signed through 2023 and will almost certainly see his fifth-year option exercised for 2024. Starting right tackle Jack Conklin, who has been struggling with injury as of late, is a rock-solid player when healthy and will remain in Cleveland through at least 2022. Conklin has a pair of voidable years at the end of his current deal, but remains a reliable piece up front. Starting left guard Joel Bitonio isn't set to test free agency until at least 2023 and starting center J.C. Tretter is also scheduled to remain a Brown through the 2022 campaign. Cleveland has achieved the rare feat of capturing five solid starters up front and doesn’t plan on letting any of them get away anytime soon.
Prior to Tuesday morning, Teller's contract was the lone elephant-in-the-room for one of the league's most trusted and noteworthy starting five. Addressing Teller's future was essentially the final piece to ensure Stefanski can continue to call his offense the way he's envisioned doing from the very beginning.
Cleveland's offense currently leads the league in rushing, totaling an impressive 1,442 rushing yards through nine games. It has represented a sufficient amount of desired consistency for a unit that finished third in that category a year ago, trailing only Lamar Jackson's Baltimore Ravens and Derrick Henry's Tennessee Titans in that metric.
Opposing defenses understand how to prepare for Cleveland's offense on a week-by-week basis. Berry and Stefanski don't care about tipping their hand on game day. They will continue to run the ball down defenses’ throats with great success and efficiency for years to come. There isn't a stark change in system, scheme, or play-calling tendencies on the horizon.