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Did Browns Guard Wyatt Teller Earn an Extension Sunday?

Wyatt Teller

After the game that Wyatt Teller had on Sunday, he is now the highest-graded (96.8) player in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. Teller was once again one of the best players on the field, and the running game was back at full go with over 200 yards in his and Nick Chubb‘s return. The Browns hit the biggest key to victory, and Wyatt Teller was a huge part of that.

Why Wyatt Teller just may have earned himself a big extension?

This makes sense to ask because the ground game without Teller, and Chubb, went from 200 yards per game on the year to 90 yards a game. Most would like to focus on Chubb’s absence, but Wyatt Teller has shown to be just as important, if not more.

During Wyatt Teller’s four-game absence, Chris Hubbard stepped in at right guard. Hubbard was solid during his time as the starter but dropping from the number one run-blocking guard in the NFL per Pro Football Focus to just a solid one was clearly noticeable in the Browns attack.

The Browns struggled to reach consistency in the run game during Teller’s absence, even with Kareem Hunt‘s solid numbers. During that four-game stretch, Hunt ran 65 times for 254 yards, averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. While Hunt was able to break some big runs, the running game had a lot of early-down one and two-yard runs that led to long third-down plays.

In the five games with Teller in the lineup, Hunt has 69 carries for 379 at a whopping 5.49 yards per carry. Some of this is the fact that the combo of Chubb and Hunt wears on a defense, but a lot is the space they have to run in. Teller has been the best in the NFL at helping create that space, and Sunday’s rushing totals solidified it.

What would an extension look like?

Here is where it can get tricky. Teller is in his third NFL season and by far his best one. The question that Andrew Berry has to ask himself is this just a great season or has Teller finally found himself in the NFL. The next one is what will it take to keep him.

Currently, the five highest-paid guards in the NFL average $14.3 million per year per Spotrac. The Browns already have Joel Bitonio at ten million per year for the next two years. They also signed Jack Conklin to a big free-agent deal and are paying J.C. Tretter $32.5 million over the next three years. One big advantage for the Browns is they won’t need to pay big dollars at left tackle until 2024, with rookie Jedrick Wills having a great season. The question still remains, do you want to tie up another big contract on the offensive line. After watching last season, most Browns fans would probably be screaming yes right now.

If Berry can use the fact Teller has had only one stellar season, should he continue to play as he has and get him on a deal in the $10-13 million range over 3-4 years with maybe 40-45 percent guaranteed he likely does the deal. He may even front load it a bit to entice Teller. Considering he will make $920 thousand next year, that is a huge jump. Anything more than that, Berry will likely let Teller’s contract play out and look to resign him at the end of next season. The problem there is that another great season will create lots of interest and possibly a bidding war that Berry would certainly like to avoid.

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