It’s safe to say Jadeveon Clowney will not be returning to the Cleveland Browns next season and his late-season blowup was nothing short of a disaster for the franchise.
Clowney unleashed on the Browns in an interview with Cleveland.com ahead of their Week 18 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Clowney ripped into the coaching staff and also took aim at how the Browns utilize Myles Garrett — a perennial Pro Bowler who played opposite of him.
“You’re all trying to get somebody into the Hall of Fame when all that matters is winning,” said Clowney, lamenting that the Browns made an effort to give Garrett the easier matchups during games. “Everybody got here for a reason, and we can all make plays. I know I am.”
The Browns sent Clowney home from practice after the comments and he was inactive for the final game. Browns’ general manager Andrew Berry didn’t go into detail on Clowney’s situation but made it clear it’s a position they’ll invest in this offseason.
”Obviously disappointed in terms of everything surrounding that situation. Look, having a partner with Myles is certainly something that we have had for the past three years,” Berry said. “That is certainly a position group that we do value and we will continue to value, no different than the offensive line on the offensive side of the ball. We will continue to invest in it and make those decisions at the appropriate time.”
Browns Want Issues to Stay ‘In-House’
Clowney’s statement through the media was a bold move and something that caught a lot of people off guard in Cleveland. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is a massive fan of keeping things in-house and a prominent player going after the team in the media is the last thing the Browns needed as they wrapped up a disappointing 7-10 season.
The move from Clowney comes a season after Odell Beckham Jr.’s untimely departure from the Browns, basically forcing the team to release him following the trade deadline. It’s a rough look for the Browns but Berry doesn’t feel like it’s a problem unique to Cleveland.
“Ultimately, you would like to keep things in-house, probably like any NFL team. That doesn’t always happen,” Berry said. “I think Kevin does a good job of managing that. It is something that we will continue to do as we move forward. We feel like we have a good system in place there.”
Stefanski Believes Winning Can Solve ‘Culture’ Issues
The Browns will be watching the playoffs from home for a second consecutive season after entering the year with hefty expectations. Stefanski was asked if the Browns need to reevaluate the team culture this offseason and pointed to their losing record as the catalyst.
“When you lose, that is a fair question. For every losing team, you are going to ask about culture,” Stefanski said. “I said it last week, culture is people. When you have the right people, you have the right culture. We didn’t win enough games this season.
“When you are winning and you are having the locker rooms after a win when everybody is very excited, that is when culture starts to build.”
Clowney won’t be around next season and neither will defensive coordinator Joe Woods, who was let go on Monday. Berry assured the team has “more than enough” resources to fortify the roster next season to avoid disappointment once again.