Cleveland Browns soon-to-be free agent Jadeveon Clowney certainly sounds like a guy that wants to return to Cleveland and play alongside Myles Garrett
Jadeveon Clowney, the Cleveland Browns defensive end, who came to the team this offseason in a free agency deal worth $7 million, certainly sounded like a player that would love to return if the situation was right.
That might not just mean money either according to his postgame comments. The Browns finished the season with a win against the Cincinnati Bengals 21-16 and Clowney was outstanding in the contest. He recorded two sacks in the game as he finished the season with nine on the year, the most he’s registered since his last year with the Houston Texans in 2018.
The former No. 1 pick of the 2014 NFL draft made a great play early in the Bengals game that reminded one of the terrors he can create teamed up with fellow defensive end Myles Garrett who finished his season with 16 sacks. In the first half, Clowney was able to knock down Cincinnati quarterback Brandon Allen and forced a fumble on the play.
Clowney then almost grabbed the loose ball but couldn’t quite contain it. One might recall a few weeks ago when Garrett stripped sacked the Baltimore Ravens quarterback and took the fumble back for a touchdown — this was nearly a similar outcome.
Regardless, this pairing of Garrett and Clowney could be one of the keys to resigning Clowney this offseason.
In his postgame comments, Clowney indicated his love for this team and how much fun he’s had playing this season with the group. Camryn Justice, a news reporter for WEWS in Cleveland, shared several important comments from the Browns defensive end.
He also added that the connection between him and Garrett works and hopes that they “can keep that going next year.” From there he added that he’s already being recruited by Garrett but jokingly told him he doesn’t know if he even will play next year.
There will always be money out there for a player like Clowney to grab, but from his words today, that doesn’t feel like his biggest reason for selecting a team. It certainly looks like the relationship between Clowney and Garrett has strengthened as the year has gone on. They both are super competitive and have driven each other to get better.
Having Clowney share his comfort for this team and his teammates with these post-game comments could bode well for keeping him in a Browns uniform next year. He had signed the $7 million contract for this past season. Now, will Cleveland’s front office personnel try to make a big push to keep him here, like Clowney’s teammates?
There aren’t too many other free agent defensive ends that are available this offseason that would equal what Clowney has been able to do. Dante Fowler Jr. from the Atlanta Falcons is a free agent and he’s a bit younger than Clowney at the age of 27. He had his best year with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 when he recorded 11.5 sacks. He got paid over $15 million this past season. Akiem Hicks of the Chicago Bears is also available as a free agent. The older 32-year-old defensive end got paid $12 million.
The Browns didn’t make the playoffs and that could be one of the other factors with Clowney’s overall decision. Coming into this season Cleveland looked like a lock to get back to the postseason but they failed despite the defense stepping up a lot in the second half of the season and keeping the team in games.
Clowney will certainly draw the interest of many teams that do make the playoffs this year and that could be attractive to him.
Time will tell and the earlier the Browns would push to give Clowney a new offer would have to be better in Clowney’s view.