Browns Offer Multiyear Contract to 3-Time Pro Bowl Pass Rusher

Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns

Getty Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns talks with teammates on the sidelines during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns made a contract offer to a familiar face Friday in an effort to solidify their edge pass rush.

NFL insider Jordan Schultz reported that Cleveland is attempting to bring back free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who played his first season with the team in 2021.

“#Browns have offered FA Jadeveon Clowney a two-year deal worth $24M, per source,” Schultz tweeted March 18. “The 3x Pro Bowler has totaled at least nine sacks in three of his last four seasons (also with #Texans and #Seahawks). Good money for a good player. I’m told Cleveland is hoping for a decision soon.”

Clowney tallied 9 sacks and 19 quarterback hits in 14 games played for the Browns last season. He also registered 37 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss, forced two fumbles and defensed two passes, per Pro Football Reference.

The defensive end joined the Browns on a one-year, $8 million deal following a tough campaign with the Tennessee Titans in 2020, during which Clowney played in only eight games and tallied zero sacks.

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Clowney’s Return Would Solidify One of NFL’s Best Pass Rush Duos

Getty ImagesDE Myles Garrett (left) of the Cleveland Browns high-fives teammate Jadeveon Clowney (right).

The Browns owned the NFL’s fifth-best defense in 2021, per Pro Football Focus (PFF). A Clowney return will help maintain that level of production moving forward.

On the other side of Cleveland’s vaunted pass rush is defensive end Myles Garrett, arguably the best harasser of quarterbacks in the game. Garrett finished last season with a franchise-record 16 sacks, which was third among all NFL players in 2021 behind only Robert Quinn of the Chicago Bears and Defensive Player of The Year T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Garrett was rated by PFF as the best edge defender in the NFL with an overall grade of 92.0. He also earned a pass rush grade of 92.7 and a run defense grade of 70.5.

Cleveland Pass Rush Compliments Strong Secondary

Denzel Ward, Davante Adams

GettyDavante Adams of the Green Bay Packers catches a pass against Denzel Ward of the Cleveland Browns in the first quarter at Lambeau Field on December 25, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

If Cleveland can bring Clowney back, they solidify an edge rush that will make life easier in a secondary where a couple of high-quality cornerbacks already reside.

PFF ranked Denzel Ward the 11th best CB in the NFL over the course of 2021. He is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract and is owed approximately $13.3 million, though the Browns are expected to extend the lockdown corner for years to come before the offseason is through.

Opposite Ward is Greg Newsome, who isn’t as strong as Ward against the run or in blitz schemes but is also one of the better cover corners in the league. PFF slotted Newsome as the 32nd rated cornerback out of 116 players who qualified at the position.

The center of Cleveland’s defense should also be strong in 2022, led by young star Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and veteran Anthony Walker who agreed to return to Cleveland next season on a one-year, $5 million deal.

Clowney feels like the last big piece Cleveland needs to lockdown this offseason to solidify their defense. The interior of the defensive line will likely need to be bolstered through free agency or the draft, though it will take a backseat financially to what the Browns are doing on offense.

Cleveland traded for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper and his $20 million annual contract on Saturday, March 12. Then on Friday, the Browns acquired embattled Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, committing to a five year, $230 million contract that is fully guaranteed.

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