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Report: Denzel Ward contract extension with Cleveland Browns currently considered a 'long shot'

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, it's considered a 'long shot' that the Cleveland Browns will sign Denzel Ward to a contract extension this offseason.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

Earlier this month, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that the Cleveland Browns and cornerback Denzel Ward had begun the process of negotiating a contract extension.

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But with less than three weeks to go until the start of the 2021 season, a deal between the two sides has yet to come to fruition.

On Wednesday, Fowler published an update on the NFL's top extension-eligible players entering the 2021 campaign. And while the Browns-related portion of his article focused on quarterback Baker Mayfield, the ESPN insider also had news to share regarding Cleveland's negotiations with Ward.

"The Browns have looked to extend several core players, starting with running back Nick Chubb last month," Fowler wrote. "They've begun discussions with cornerback Denzel Ward, though a deal is considered a long shot as of now."

That's not to say a deal potentially won't get done down the line, especially with the Ohio State product still having two years remaining his rookie deal. Rather it appears -- like Mayfield -- the Browns won't be signing Ward to a long-term extension prior to their Sept. 12 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Speaking to reporters earlier this offseason, the Macedonia native expressed his desire to spend the rest of his career in Northeast Ohio.

"In a perfect world, I would definitely want to be a Brown for my entire career," Ward said in June. "I'm from Cleveland. The team that drafted me, the team that believed in me coming out of college. I take a lot of pride and respect into that and I just want to give my all to this team. It's definitely a place I want to be. I enjoy being a Cleveland Brown and giving them everything I got."

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