The question now is what kind of money the Browns will have to fork up for the former No. 1 overall pick, with so much changing since last offseason when the Browns offered Clowney a three-year, $57 million deal.
ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler provided some clarity on the price range Cleveland could be looking at while appearing on Bull & Fox, adding that he wouldn’t be “shocked” if Clowney landed with the Browns.
“Last year they were motivated to do it, but Clowney did not go that route,” Fowler said. “He was with agent Bus Cook at the time, who also had — of course — Myles Garrett. There were probably some complications. Now he’s with a new agent and his market is much different. You are probably looking at that $7 million range. Maybe you can get him for $10 million with incentives. Different ballpark they are dealing with, so maybe they can close that deal.”
Clowney, Browns Have Mutual Interest
The Browns hosted Clowney earlier this month for a visit, which was surprisingly the first of his seven-year career. With Clowney coming off a pair of down seasons, it could be very beneficial for him to play opposite of an All-Pro in Myles Garrett.
The negotiations seem to be going well, with both sides showing mutual interest in getting a deal done, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“The Browns wanted to sit with him, look him in the eye, talk to him and get to know him as a person. They wanted to see if this is something they wanted to do,” Rapoport said on NFL Network. “That happened yesterday and he has since gone home. There is mutual interest but we’ll see if the two sides end up doing anything. The fact that Clowney took his first free-agent visit — I believe ever — to Cleveland, puts the Browns in a very good position to sign him down the road.”
Clowney missed eight games with a knee injury last season after signing with the Titans, needing surgery to repair his left meniscus. Clowney notched just 19 tackles — four for a loss — and no sacks in a very down year. That was coming off a season in Seattle where he missed time with a core injury and managed just three sacks.
Update on Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb Extensions
Fowler also provided an update on the Browns’ negotiations with quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Nick Chubb. Both could receive extensions this offseason, but it’s a delicate situation that will shape the future of the franchise.
Mayfield passed for 26 touchdowns and just eight picks last season. The Browns could pick up his fifth-year option or extend him long-term this offseason.
“That’s a fascinating situation,” Fowler said of the situation at QB for the Browns. “Baker Mayfield made strides, but we are not calling him a top-five player yet. But I know they were really encouraged by what they saw. If that’s enough for them, I think they’ll be aggressive and do it now.”
Fowler was a little more bullish on the Browns getting a long-term deal done with Chubb.
“That one, to me, is fairly easy — you try to do something,” Fowler said. “He’s a year away from free agency. He’s a guy who really carried your offense at times when you needed him to. The only other option would be to go the Derrick Henry route, where you let him play the fourth year, he balls out, you franchise tag him and then do a deal.”