Browns Releasing Veteran Pass-Rusher: Report

Getty Images The Browns released DE Adrian Clayborn on Tuesday.

The Cleveland Browns made their first move on the defensive side of the ball on Tuesday, but it was a subtraction, not an additional, releasing veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn.

Clayborn had 12 tackles and 3.5 sacks last year and played an essential role in the pass-rushing rotation with Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon both missing time. The move was will save the Browns $3 million in cap space. The Browns officially announced the move on Tuesday.

The Browns signed Clayborn last offseason, inking him to a two-year deal worth a reported $6.75 million with incentives.

Clayborn has 40 career sacks, his best year coming in 2017, when he notched 9.5 for the Falcons. In 2019 he had four sacks and 18 tackles in Atlanta. Clayborn won Super Bowl LIII with the New England Patriots in 2018.

Clayborn, a former first-round pick, is entering his 11th season in the league and will likely have some suitors as a veteran rotational player on the defensive line.


Browns Looking for Myles Garrett’s Pass-Rush Partner

GettyMyles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns.

Clayborn’s departure only amplifies the need on the defensive line for the Browns, who are in search of an impact player opposite of Myles Garrett. Porter Gustin and Joe Jackson are the other defensive ends the Browns currently have under contract.

Olivier Vernon has been Garrett’s pass-rush partner the past two seasons, which was a good, but not great partnership. But the oft-injured Vernon had his moments, especially during the back-half of the schedule last season, notching nine sacks in eight games. However, it’s unlikely Vernon will be back with the Browns. He’s an unrestricted free agent and is coming off a ruptured Achilles he suffered in Cleveland’s regular-season finale.

Garrett inked a massive extension last offseason and proved his worth, collecting 12 sacks, two pass deflections and four forced fumbles in 14 games. But despite his individual success, Garrett is still hungry for more team success in Cleveland.

“I’m never happy with losing,” Garrett told the Browns official site. “We are always trying to go to the very end and be there. We have a young core. We go back, keep building on what we have this year and take another crack at it.”


Browns Have Multiple Pass-Rush Options on Radar

The Browns were in the mix for former Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt, but the former Texan ultimately chose to sign with the Cardinals. Cleveland still has options, however.

Among the names on the Browns radar are Cincinnati’s Carl Lawson, Arizona’s Haason Reddick, New Orleans’ Trey Hendickson, Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett and Pittsburgh’s Bud Dupree, per Mary Clay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

Another name that’s popped up is Broncos Pro Bowler Von Miller, who is currently seeing how his situation shakes out this offseason. The Broncos are weighing his team-option, which comes with a massive $22.25 million cap hit. They could choose to release or trade Miller if he doesn’t want to re-work his deal.

From Watt to Jadeveon Clowney last year, the Browns have proven they are willing to pay for pass-rush help, so expect Cleveland to be an active player once free agency opens for guys who can get to the quarterback.

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