Brown defensive end Myles Garrett’s 2019 season was cut short by suspension after he nearly brained Steelers QB Mason Rudolph by swinging Rudolph’s own helmet at his head during a melee. Garrett has been cleared by the NFL for this year, however. Here are Garrett’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as well as the Browns’ over/under win total.
Garrett was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M by the Browns. Upon joining the Browns, his rookie season was limited due to injuries, but Garrett emerged after the latter half of that year and has become one of the premier edge rushers in the NFL. Overall, Garrett recorded 28 combined tackles (16 solo), seven sacks, one pass defensed, and one fumble recovery during his rookie season in 11 games.
The next year, Garrett played all 16 games and became a star, recording 13.5 sacks (sixth in NFL), 44 combined tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss, 29 quarterback hits, three passes defensed, and three forced fumbles.
However, Garrett became nationally known in Week 11 last season in Cleveland’s 21-7 home win over Pittsburgh on a Thursday night. Garrett ripped the helmet off Rudolph and clubbed him in the head with it in the final seconds. Rudolph appeared to try to dislodge Garrett’s helmet when the defensive end was on top of him after a late hit. Rudolph also kicked him in the groin area from the ground. Once they stood up, Garrett ripped off Rudolph’s helmet and took a swing with it, connecting on the top of Rudolph’s helmetless head.
The league suspended Garrett – who had 10 sacks up to that point of the season — the rest of the year, the longest ban for a single on-field incident in NFL history. It was hardly the first incident last season for Garrett as he also was fined for punching Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker and for a pair of late hits on New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian, the second of which knocked Siemian out for the season with an ankle injury.
Cleveland’s defense suffered without Garrett as the Browns limped to a 6-10 finish. Garrett made things worse by claiming that Rudolph used a racial slur and that’s why Garrett went nuts. “He called me the N-word,” Garrett said. “He called me a ‘stupid N-word.'” An NFL spokesman said that the league “found no such evidence” that Rudolph used the slur, and the suspension was upheld. Rudolph has called the allegation “totally untrue.”
Back in February, the NFL officially reinstated Garrett from the suspension. His 30.5 sacks are the most by any Browns player in history in the first three years of their career.
“We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a statement. “We know he is grateful to be reinstated, eager to put the past behind him and continue to evolve and grow as a leader. We look forward to having his strong positive presence back as a teammate, player and person in our community.”
The Browns are clearly OK with Garrett as they are working on a long-term contract extension with him. Garrett remains under contract through 2021 since the Browns recently exercised the fifth year of his rookie deal, but any long-term extension would allow the organization to get ahead of any expensive pass-rush market just three seasons into Garrett’s current contract. There’s a chance Garrett becomes the first pass rusher to crack $25 million per season.
However, Garrett’s agent Bus Cook has acknowledged that the potential drastic reduction of the salary cap in 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic could impact contract negotiations and extensions. NFL estimated this week that the cap could drop by $40 million or more per team next year depending on loss of revenue in 2020.
This week, Garrett was trending on social media as he showed off his athleticism by sharing a video on Instagram of him dunking a basketball while the 6-foot-4, 270-pounder jumped over the head of one of his friends – who looked at least 6-foot tall. Last month, Garrett shared a video of him deadlifting three sets of 655 pounds. He’s previously benched more than 400 pounds and completed a 60-inch box jump.