The Cleveland Browns and Jadeveon Clowney have agreed on a one-year reunion. Which players stand to gain the most from Clowney’s return to Cleveland?
Now with Clowney back in the fold, the Browns have a clearer picture of what their starting defense will look like in 2022. Andrew Berry and the Browns have made a litany of moves this offseason on the defensive side of the ball. Many of the players acquired will now serve a new role now that Clowney has decided to return.
Which players will benefit the most from Clowney re-signing with the Browns?
Cleveland Browns Beneficiary No. 3: Myles Garrett
Myles Garrett would be outstanding even if he were to be paired with one of the Browns groundkeepers. He’s just that much of an outlier when it comes to defensive ends in the NFL. However, the re-addition of Clowney opposite of Garrett will once again prove to be a huge boost for the sixth-year edge rusher.
As was evident last season, Garrett flourished when teams were unable to devote all their attention to his side of the field. Clowney’s presence is exactly the advantage the Browns need to even up the numbers game on the line of scrimmage.
Even if it only means that Garrett sees five-to-10 more snaps of being singled up with an offensive tackle, that is more than enough to shift the balance of power towards the Browns defense.
Cleveland’s defense gave up 16 or fewer points nine times in 2021. A massive factor in the defense’s success was Clowney’s ability to set the edge and aggressively play the run opposite of Garrett. With Garrett and Clowney bookending the line of scrimmage, there was no safe place on the field for offenses to routinely exploit.
A game wrecker like Garrett only needs a handful of opportunities to completely change an offense’s game plan. With the physicality and skillset that Clowney brings to the table, Garrett will once again be able to focus on being the quarterback disrupter that he is.