Jadeveon Clowney might have played himself out of a contract with the Cleveland Browns. If so, here are five free agents they could target as replacements.
Heading into the 2022 offseason, the Cleveland Browns are going to have some tough decisions to make. With several members of the team heading to free agency, they have to decide how they want to allocate their money.
Working under a salary cap presents some issues at times and that could be the case here as the front office will have to decide which players they need to retain and who they can let walk and find a more affordable replacement.
At times, this decision is made for them when a player’s performance dictates they get a larger salary than Cleveland can afford. After a very strong 2021 campaign, this could be the case for Jadeveon Clowney, who proved to be a fantastic starter opposite Myles Garrett.
Should he end up leaving for greener pastures, the Browns could have some options in free agency. Here, we look at five different players who could come in and take the place of Clowney.
Cleveland Browns replacement No. 5: Derek Barnett
Back when Myles Garrett entered the league, there were some who asked whether or not Derek Barnett was in the same class. Clearly, Garrett has proven that he was head and shoulders above the rest but that doesn’t mean Barnett has not been a good pass rusher in the NFL.
Barnett, who was taken at No. 14 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, has spent the past five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. In that time, he has recorded 147 tackles and 21.5 sacks. This past season, he finished with only two quarterback sacks and there’s a strong chance that he heads elsewhere in 2022.
If he does, the Browns could do well to bring him in. This past season, they added Jadeveon Clowney and Takk McKinley to give them two former first-round picks and a similar strategy could work as well. Barnett might not have lived up to his high draft status but he can start opposite Garrett and give Cleveland a quality defensive end.