Making the case against Cleveland Browns signing Jadeveon Clowney
The Cleveland Browns have recently met with free agent edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, in hopes to fill the void at defensive end opposite their defensive star Myles Garrett. While there appears to be mutual interest between the two parties following the visit, the Browns should avoid signing Clowney.
Jadeveon Clowney has never truly lived up to his first overall pick status. Sure, he’s had some nice numbers in his years as a pro, but never quite what you would want from someone that you select with the first pick in the NFL Draft.
Clowney has never gotten more than 9.5 sacks in a season, even when pass rushing opposite a guy that commands double teams like J.J. Watt does while with the Houston Texans. Sure, you can’t just look at sacks when you’re evaluating edge rushers, but in the end, if you are paying a guy to help your team in that category, you expect him to deliver.
That is exactly what the Browns would be hoping Clowney would provide. Myles Garrett demands double teams from offensive coordinators, which opens up one-on-one matchups for other rushers to get to the quarterback. Jadeveon Clowney would be expected to help get home and perhaps even make teams think twice about double-teaming Myles Garrett on the other side of the line.
The other issue with signing Clowney is his injury history. Clowney has suffered injuries almost every season since entering the league and has only played all 16 games one time in his career. For a player who misses time and isn’t necessarily great at any one thing, asking for $12 million, even on a one-year deal, is too much for most teams to consider.
Cleveland has several other options at defensive end in the free agency pool they can sign to a one-year deal, and ones that would be much cheaper than Jadeveon Clowney. The Browns aren’t retaining Olivier Vernon, mostly due to his injury history. Why would they bring in another oft-injured player at the same position that commands just as much money?
The Browns would be better suited to find a cheaper option in free agency and also find a talented edge rusher in the draft. Having a rotation opposite of Myles Garrett is not a bad thing, especially if all the bodies in that rotation are available more times than not.