Myles Garrett puts playoffs atop his 2020 checklist

Browns DE brushes off short-lived reign as NFL's top-paid defender

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2017, Myles Garrett has entered every season with a personal checklist of goals.

Atop that list since he was drafted has been NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, but as he enters his fourth season, the defensive end has something else that is more important to him.

“Winning,” Garrett said Saturday during a Zoom video conference call with reporters. “I want to go to the playoffs. You have so many goals. Everybody wants to be All-Pro. Everybody wants to be the best at their position. Everybody wants to be Defensive Player of the Year or wants to be recognized for success they have had on the field, but the ultimate success is team success.”

The Browns, who haven't won their division in 30 years, haven't made the playoffs since 2002 and are in the midst of the league's longest playoff drought.

The last player with Hall of Fame talent the Browns drafted was Joe Thomas in 2007. The closest to the postseason Thomas came was his rookie year that saw the Browns go 10-6 but just miss out on a Wild Card.

Thomas went on to play 10,363 consecutive snaps and make 10 consecutive Pro Bowls. He’ll likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible in 2023 but the Browns won just 48 games over the 11 seasons Thomas played.

That is something Garrett does not want to see his career repeat.

“No matter how well I do, if we are no good, nobody will remember my season or what any of us did up front,” Garrett said. “I want us to ultimately have a stellar year as a defense, get to the playoffs and make a run. That is what I want to do.”

For less than a month Garrett was the highest paid defender in the game.

Three weeks after Garrett signed his five-year, $25 million contract extension, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa topped him with a five-year, $135 million extension.

“My parents always told me never worry about someone else’s money,” Garrett said. “I have mine, and I am filling the role of what I need to on this team. They know my value, and I know my value.

“All praise goes to Joey for what he has done and how great and productive he has been at the Chargers, but I just have to play my game and try to do it to the best of my ability. I know I can be among the very best in the league, and he has the ability, too. That is the competition right there.”