Ravens at Risk of Losing 2nd-Leading Pass Rusher to a Panthers ‘Homecoming’

Ravens LB Jadeveon Clowney enters the field before game against the Rams.

Getty Ravens LB Jadeveon Clowney enters the field before game against the Rams.

The Baltimore Ravens led the NFL in sacks during the 2023 season with a dominant front 7 that caused chaos for offensive lines across the league. Star DT Justin Madubuike led the charge, but even more surprisingly, veteran OLB Jadeveon Clowney rediscovered his abilities as a sack artist for Baltimore.

Now the Ravens are at risk of losing the veteran lineman in free agency to his hometown team. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo posted on Wednesday, March 13, “A possible homecoming in Carolina: The #Panthers will host three-time Pro Bowl selection and Rock Hill, S.C. native Jadeveon Clowney on a visit to this week, sources say.”

Clowney signed a 1-year, $2.5 million contract with the Ravens during training camp for the 2023 season. General manager Eric DeCosta struck gold with the pick-up as Clowney was second on the team with 9.5 sacks and was a wrecking ball on the defensive line.

The veteran also added 43 combined tackles and 19 QB hits, providing veteran leadership to a dominant Ravens’ defense.

Garafolo went on to write, “Clowney has interest from a few teams, including the #Ravens, but is exploring a return home first.”

Spotrac’s market value tool projects Clowney to have a market of 1-year, $7.2 million, but after his season with the Ravens he may be looking for a little more security.

Carolina Panthers Have Need & Means to Pay Jadeveon Clowney

According to OverTheCap the Panthers still have $19 million in cap space, which is plenty to sign the 10-year veteran. They also now have a severe need at the pass rush after they traded Brian Burns to the New York Giants on Monday, March 11.

Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiari wrote about the potential homecoming, “Burns’ departure leaves the Panthers with a huge hole on defense, and while filling it won’t be easy, Clowney would be capable of doing so for at least a year until Carolina can find a long-term option.”

The major change would be going from the Ravens, one of the top teams in the league, to the Panthers who were the worst team in the league this season.

Chiari explains, “Clowney’s interest in playing for the Panthers may involve the amount of money they can pay him, but it is also notable that he is from Rock Hill, South Carolina, which is less than an hour away from the Panthers’ home base in Charlotte, North Carolina.”

“Clowney has reached the nine-sack mark in two of the past three seasons, and for his career he has 363 tackles, 52.5 sacks, 99 tackles for loss and 15 forced fumbles in 126 regular-season games,” Chiari wrote.

If Clowney decides to return home and join the Panthers, he could be a valuable stopgap and veteran influence on younger players as Carolina continues to rebuild.

Ravens Looking a Bit Thin With out Jadeveon Clowney

The news of Clowney looking to join the Panthers is a bit surprising as many thought a return to the Ravens would make the most sense after the newfound success.

Baltimore Beatdown’s Joshua Reed also covered the news and wrote, “The Ravens currently have just four edge defenders under contract for the 2024 season.”

Reed goes on to write, “All of them have three or fewer years of experience under their belts.”

The news of Clowney’s Panthers’ visit comes on the heels of the Ravens releasing LB Tyus Bowser earlier in the day. General manager Eric DeCosta will most likely make a run at Clowney, but he could wait until before the season like he did in 2023.

Reed brought up another avenue DeCosta could explore, “He could quickly pivot to trying to re-sign another 10-year veteran in Kyle Van Noy.”

Van Noy was the third leading member of the Ravens in sacks with 9.0 and had a resurgence as a member of Baltimore. DeCosta could look to bring the veteran back on another 1-year deal if he misses out on Clowney.

Read More