Jadeveon Clowney is giving it another go in Cleveland.
The veteran edge rusher has agreed to terms with the Browns on what is essentially a one-year, $ 11 million deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported, per a source. Rapoport added that the deal, which was initially agreed to on May 18, could be a little more complicated.
Clowney wanted to be back in Cleveland after turning down $ 14-15 million per year offers from other teams on multi-year deals, according to Rapoport.
Clowney flirted with joining the Browns in 2020, but first spent a year in Tennessee before circling back to Cleveland as a free agent in 2021. In his first season with the Browns, Clowney became one half of a formidable edge-rushing duo with Myles Garrett recording nine sacks, 37 tackles (11 for loss) and two forced fumbles in 14 games.
The best image of the potential of the Garrett-Clowney pairing came in Week 1, when the two simultaneously crashed into Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes for a key third-down sack. By season’s end, the two combined for 25 total sacks, 28 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and Garrett’s first career defensive touchdown.
With Clowney again headed to free agency, Cleveland entered 2022 with a clear need at edge rusher opposite Garrett. The Browns addressed their depth concerns at the position by selecting UAB defensive end Alex Wright in the third round of the 2022 draft and Oklahoma edge rusher Isaiah Thomas in the seventh round, but still lacked a veteran who could be counted on to immediately contribute.
Clowney’s return fills that void by turning to familiarity and quality production. Should Clowney be able to turn in another largely healthy season, the Browns can feel very confident about their situation at edge rusher.
Near the end of the 2021 season, Clowney spoke of how he enjoyed his time in Cleveland and Garrett said he planned on recruiting Clowney to stick around, but in typical Clowney fashion, his future remained uncertain. The former No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 draft has been known to take his time with his free-agency decisions in the past, and although he did not let this iteration last as long as it did in 2020 (when he signed with Tennessee in September) , Clowney did wait a month longer than he did in 2021 before signing with the Browns.
The time elapsed is irrelevant now that Clowney is again under contract with the Browns. He, Garrett and the rest of the franchise will hope 2022 produces a better outcome than 2021’s 8-9 finish.