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No. 4 pick Denzel Ward signs contract, beats deadline to report

BEREA — The last rookie is in the fold.

Just in time.

Cornerback Denzel Ward, the No. 4 pick, signed his rookie contract Wednesday, the team announced.

Ward will join the rest of the rookies and veterans in reporting today. The first practice is Thursday afternoon.

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With rookie contracts slotted due to the collective bargaining agreement, Ward’s four-year deal is worth approximately $29 million guaranteed, including a $19 million signing bonus.

Teams hold a fifth-year option on all first-round picks.

Ward, who went to Nordonia High School, quickly moved into the starting lineup during the offseason and is expected to remain there for the foreseeable future. He impressed during OTAs and minicamp with his work against receivers Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry.

Ward was the last of Cleveland’s nine draft choices to agree on a deal. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 pick, signed his $33 million deal, including a $22 million signing bonus, Tuesday night.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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