Jadeveon Clowney did not sign with the Cleveland Browns to take part. The former top pick wants to take over.
Despite a couple of down years that were marred by injury, Clowney still has supreme confidence in his ability, feeling that he can be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate if he stays healthy.
“With my potential and the way I play the game, if I can stay healthy I should not be far away from being Defensive Player of the Year. I think I have that potential, and I can do it,” Clowney told reporters shortly after inking his deal with the Browns.
Clowney admitted he’s really never been healthy during his time in the NFL, although he’s made a trio of Pro bowls and was a second-team All-Pro in 2016. Clowney has missed 29 games in his career, including 12 his rookie season after having microfracture knee surgery.
“The funny part, I tell people my career started off slow because I got hurt the first game of my career with a microfracture, probably the worst thing you could have in this game,” Clowney said. “I do not think everybody got to see the person they drafted yet. I think I am working back towards that, but I am well on my way now.
“I still can dominate this league, I know that. But if I ever reach my max potential or get back there like I feel now, they say the sky is the limit, but it is probably higher than that. They have footprints on the moon, though. That is where we are trying to reach. I just want to stay healthy. If I play 16 games, I think we will be ready to see. Just let me work on that.”
Jadeveon Clowney Praised Browns for Pursuit
The Browns have gone hard after Clowney the last two offseasons, watching him sign a one-year deal with Tennessee a year ago despite putting a lucrative multiyear offer on the table.
Clowney said it meant a lot to him that the Browns and general manager Andrew Berry pursued him so relentlessly.
“If you are wanted by somebody, you can tell that somebody really wants you and they are going to use you the right way,” Clowney said. “That was another big part in me making my decision. They wanted me, and when you are wanted by somebody, you can’t just turn it down like a relationship – a woman keeps trying – so I am ready.”
Clowney had some special praise for Berry, who he repeatedly described as “relentless.”
“He was relentless getting after me and trying to get me up here, and I am going to be relentless on that field for him,” Clowney said. “He knows I can play. He told me he likes my style of play. I said I am going to bring that here.”
Jadeveon Clowney Excited to Play Opposite Myles Garrett
Like any good pass-rusher, Clowney has seen his share of double teams over the years. Signing with Cleveland means he gets to play opposite of All-Pro Myles Garrett, who was the third most double-teamed defensive end last season.
“I have been getting double-teamed an awful lot in this league and in my career,” Clowney said. “I am looking forward to playing with somebody who is dominant on the opposite side like a Myles Garrett, who can draw a double team. Maybe I can go one on one more”
Garrett collected 12 sacks, two pass deflections and four forced fumbles in 14 games last season. Clowney has racked up 32 sacks over seven seasons. Clowney spent his first five NFL seasons with the Texans before joining the Seahawks via trade in 2019.