Browns: Andrew Berry indicates he wants Jadeveon Clowney back

Cleveland Browns, Jadeveon Clowney. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns, Jadeveon Clowney. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

In a virtual meeting with reporters, Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry spoke highly of pending free agent Jadeveon Clowney. But can he re-sign him?

It was more than a year in the making but the Cleveland Browns were able to sign former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney ahead of the 2021 season. And he didn’t disappoint.

Clowney, who was targeted throughout the 2020 offseason, joined the team on a one-year deal following a short stint with the Tennessee Titans. He proved to be a great fit in Cleveland and finished with nine sacks — just one half away from his personal best.

In addition to his stellar play against the pass, Clowney was great against the run as he proved to be an all-around player at defensive end. This didn’t go unnoticed by general manager Andrew Berry, who was signing Clowney’s praises in a recent press conference — and indicated he would try and re-sign him says Mary Kay Cabot.

"“JD had a really good season for us, was very productive run and pass and a disruptive player,’’ Berry said via Mary Kay Cabot of “He paired nicely with the other guys who we had up front, obviously with Myles being at the forefront. He had a good year. He did the things that we envisioned when we signed him. Good season. Fit in nicely for us. The next several weeks, we will see kind of what the future holds with all of our guys across the roster.”"

Clowney, who is with his fourth team — and third in as many seasons — could end up making too much for the Browns to commit to retaining him. He was signed on a very affordable contract this offseason after having an injury the prior campaign. Now, he’s coming off one of his best seasons as a pro and could make more than twice what he did in 2021.

Browns defensive end corps thin without Clowney

With Clowney, the Cleveland defensive line was impressive. He had nine sacks while Myles Garrett finished with 16. Clearly, Garrett is still the alpha in this group but Clowney was by far the best compliment he’s ever played alongside.

The problem is, the cupboard becomes bare when you get beyond Clowney.

In 2021, they did have Takk McKinley but he too is set for free agency. Outside of that, players such as Joe Jackson and Ifeadi Odenigbo were seeing plenty of playing time.

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Should Clowney head for a different city, defensive end suddenly becomes a pressing need in the offseason and may need to be solved via the draft.