Jadeveon Clowney is back where the Browns want him – with his name inked on the depth chart at the defensive starting point against All-Pro Myles Garrett.
After a long wait in the open market, Clowney finalized a deal on Sunday to re-sign the Browns to a one-year contract worth $11 million with incentives, a person familiar with the deal has confirmed. .
On Instagram, Clowney reposted the news from the NFL account and added, “Go back.
Clowney became an unrestricted free agent on March 16, after his most successful individual season in three years.
Last season, Clowney appeared in 14 of the Browns’ 17 games and compiled 37 tackles, with nine sacks, 19 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and two passes defended. He was voted a Pro Bowl substitute. He missed two games because he contracted COVID-19 in December and another because he experienced knee pain during pre-game warm-ups on October 10 before a 47-42 loss to the Chargers. of Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
By any measure, it was a career renaissance for Clowney. The three-time Pro Bowl selection hadn’t played as many games in a season since appearing in 15 in 2018 or tallied as many sacks since posting nine in the same year.
The NFL Network reported Clowney rejected multi-year offers of $14–15 million a year from other teams to reunite with the Browns.
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Clowney first joined the Browns in April 2021 when he signed a one-year contract worth up to $10 million with incentives. He previously rejected Browns general manager Andrew Berry’s courtship in the 2020 offseason and decided to join the Tennessee Titans on a one-year, $13 million deal.
But Clowney has only played eight games in the 2020 season and failed to register a sack. He landed on injured reserve with a knee injury in late November and underwent surgery in early December for torn meniscus cartilage.
Clowney, 29, has a well-documented injury history. The University of South Carolina product underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee as a Houston Texans rookie, and later other injuries piled on the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft in 2014.
Despite Clowney’s health issues resurfacing with the Titans, Berry pursued him again in the 2021 offseason and lured him to the Browns, who went 8-9 last year.
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Clowney has started in 88 of the 97 regular season games he has appeared in, including all 14 with the Browns. He had 292 tackles, 41 sacks (including a career single-season high of 9½ in 2017), 105 quarterback hits, 12 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, one interception, 20 passes defended and four affected. In five career playoff games, he has 20 tackles, including 1½ sacks, five QB hits and one interception.
A native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Clowney doesn’t like the cold, but he warmed up against the Browns last season.
Clowney loved playing with Garrett, and the feeling was mutual. At the end of last season, Clowney made it clear he was ready to return to Cleveland, although he admitted the money had to be fair. Garrett said he wants the franchise to keep his running mate and has used social media to keep recruiting alive this offseason.
After news of Clowney’s deal with the Browns surfaced on Sunday, Garrett wrote on Instagram, “It’s about time.”
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The Browns added several defensive ends to their roster this offseason, but their need for a clear starter against Garrett hadn’t been addressed until Clowney signed on to return.
Berry drafted Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas in the third and seventh rounds, respectively, acquired Chase Winovich from the New England Patriots in a trade for linebacker Mack Wilson, and signed Stephen Weatherly and Isaac Rochell to one-year contracts. .
Still, Clowney has remained the priority at defensive end this offseason, and Berry just crossed off an important item on his to-do list.
Nate Ulrich can be contacted at [email protected].