Myles Garrett is coming off a career year and wants Jadeveon Clowney back by his side next season with the Cleveland Browns.
Garrett set the Browns franchise season for sacks this season with 15 sacks, terrorizing quarterbacks around the league. While the former top pick is an all-world talent, it helped to have Clowney on the other side, not allowing teams to simply send all their attention to Garrett as they did in years past.
Clowney notched seven sacks, good for second on the team, and was highly effective as a run-stopper as well. Clowney is on just a one-year deal he signed this offseason, which went better than expected. 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.
Garrett understands Clowney value to both himself and the team, saying he’s made several pitches to his pass-rush partner about returning to Cleveland next season.
“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.”
Browns Rebuilt Defense Stepped Up
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is also a fan of the contributions Clowney provided alongside Garrett.
“Those two guys, I really include the whole defensive line, great camaraderie. I just think that group practiced hard,” Stefanski said. “Then they played hard during the game.”
Garrett was the lone returning starter from the defensive line, with Clowney, Malik Jackson and Malik McDowell stepping in as new members on the defensive line. Takkarist McKinley and Ifeadi Odenigbo also were brought in as rotational pieces at defensive end. The defense as a whole turned a corner after being blowout by the Patriots 45-7 in mid-November.
“We are living up to that hype right now, but we have to keep it going. The first year for a defense like this and a lot of guys coming from different places, young guys and of all that, we had a couple of bad games, but we have had some great games,” Garrett said.
Clowney Open to Returning to Browns Next Season
The Browns chased Clowney for two offseasons, wrangling him this time around with an $8 million deal.
Last year, Clowney chose instead to sign with Tennesee on a one-year deal worth $13 million, which proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Browns. Clowney missed eight games with a knee injury, needing surgery to repair his left meniscus. Clowney notched 19 tackles — four for a loss — and no sacks in the down year.
That was coming off a season with the Seahawks where he had just 31 tackles and three sacks in 13 games. Clowney knows what he has in Cleveland and is open to returning next season, if the price is right, of course.
“I would [consider returning], but we have not talked about anything right now. Just finishing the season,” Clowney told reporters on Friday, December 31. “We have a lot of guys on this team who are on a one-year deal, and they might be heading back or do not know what is going to happen in the future. Right now, it is just all about the next game, just trying to get through the season and doing what I can do for the team as of right now.”
Clowney will likely have suitors as a free agent but the question becomes how much the Browns are willing to pay to keep him in orange and brown next year.