Jadeveon Clowney took his time but the powerful edge rusher ultimately decided to return to the Cleveland Browns after testing free agency.
The value of the deal has initially been reported as $11 million, although NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that it could be “more complicated than that.” Rapoport also added the deal was agreed to on Wednesday but the sides were ironing out some details.
It also turns out that Clowney was pursued hard by other squads, but ultimately wanted to return to Cleveland so much that he turned down more money.
“Clowney wanted to be back in Cleveland. How badly?” Rapoport tweeted. “He turned down $14 million to $15 million a year offers from other teams on multi-year deals to go back.”
It’s still a solid pay-bump for Clowney, who made around $7.5 million last year with the Browns, emerging as a key weapon opposite of Myles Garrett. Last year, Clowney notched nine sacks, good for second on the team behind Garrett. He also did a lot of things that didn’t show up in the box score and was highly effective as a run-stopper. He missed just two games — one with an elbow issue and the other due to COVID-19 — establishing himself as a consistent, reliable starter in the NFL once again.
Myles Garrett Wanted Clowney Back
Clowney had a great advocate on the roster in Garrett, who is the franchise centerpiece on the defensive side of the ball. With a reliable partner on the other side, it only optimizes what Garrett can do — his franchise-record 16 sacks last season evidence of that.
“I want him here. I feel like he’s disruptive every time he’s out there, especially when we’re out there together,” Garrett told reporters on Friday, January 7. “The guy’s hitting his stride. I think he has a lot of football left and he doesn’t know that.”
Despite a disappointing final result as a team, Clowney had fun playing football again with the Browns.
“Everything is going well. Just having fun. I have been missing the game. I sat out last year. I got hurt,” Clowney said in December of last season. “I am just happy to be back out there and still be at it this late in the season and healthier. Just trying to finish up strong here and leave it all on the field for this team.”
The Browns now have their two veteran starters with Chase Winovich and rookie Alex Wright expected to be in the mix as well. The Browns traded linebacker Mack Wilson for Winovich this offseason and took Wright in the third round of the draft.
Browns Still Need to Add Veteran Defensive Tackle
The Browns have their ends back but still will have two new starters at defensive tackle.
Veteran Malik Jackson, 32, was on a one-year deal and didn’t have an overly impressive season in 2021 and Malik McDowell, who started at the other defensive tackle spot, was arrested in January after a bizarre naked encounter with police. He’s not expected back on the Browns.