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Browns pick up Greg Newsome II’s fifth-year option

It was only a matter of time.

The Browns picked up the fifth-year option on cornerback Greg Newsome II’s rookie contract Tuesday.

General manager Andrew Berry declined to say Saturday if he’d pick up the fully guaranteed $13.377 million option for 2025 but was always expected to do so. The deadline was Thursday.

“Very happy with Greg,” Berry said after the draft.

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Newsome was the No. 26 pick in 2021 and has started 39 of 41 games with two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He’s played at least 86 percent of the defensive snaps in all three seasons.

He started 13 of 14 games last season, setting career highs with 14 passes defensed, 49 tackles and four for loss. Both interceptions came last year.

The Browns had the NFL’s No. 1-ranked pass defense (164.7 yards per game) and overall defense (270.2).

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Newsome, who will make $2.4 million in 2024, has shown he can play outside or in the slot, and the $13.377 million is reasonable for a quality starting corner. Browns Pro Bowler Denzel Ward makes an average of more than $20 million per year.

Newsome has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason, but Berry said before the draft how much he valued the position and Newsome. Ward said the Browns have the NFL’s best cornerback group in himself, Newsome and Martin Emerson Jr.

“Corner is a premium position,” Berry said recently. “We have three guys who can play press-man coverage at a very, very, very high level. That’s not a skill set that I’m looking to give away.”

Newsome recently reiterated the desire to finish his career in Cleveland and tweeted out a praying hands emoji Tuesday after the news broke. The Browns could choose to sign him to a long-term extension.

“I told you from Day 1, I want to be one of those guys that sticks around one place their whole career,” he said. “So if God be willing, I’ll be here for a long time.”

Last offseason the Browns exercised the $14.175 million fifth-year option of left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. for 2024.

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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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