Eagles Have Chance to Make Run at Former No. 1 Pick, Philly Villain

Jadeveon Clowney

Getty Eagles general manager Howie Roseman would be wise to place a call to Jadeveon Clowney.

Philadelphia Eagles fans tend to not be the biggest fans of Cleveland Browns free agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, but the team could have a chance to make a run at the No. 1 pick from the 2014 NFL draft. Clowney remains a free agent and the longer the pass rusher is available the cost for the Eagles or another team to snag the former Pro Bowler likely continues to drop.

The move is admittedly a bit of a luxury for Philadelphia but few positions are more valuable in the NFL than pass rushers. Clowney’s contentious exit from the Browns is unlikely to help the defender’s free-agent value. The pass rusher had a one-year, $10 million contract with the Browns in 2021, but it would be a surprise if the veteran landed something similar for this upcoming season.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has not shied away from taking chances by making controversial moves. Clowney has an interesting history with Philly fans that dates back to a tackle made during a 2020 Eagles-Seahawks playoff game that knocked quarterback Carson Wentz out of the matchup.

Jadeveon Clowney Said Philly Has ‘the Worst Fans in the World’ in 2020

Clowney made things worse by doubling down on the hit as well as calling out Eagles fans after the Seahawks win. According to ESPN’s Tim McManus, Clowney suggested at the time that he could receive “death threats” while adding that Philly supporters are “the worst fans in the world.”

“It was a bang-bang play,” Clowney told ESPN during a January 5, 2020 media session. “I don’t intend to hurt anybody in this league, let me just put that out there. I’ve been down the injury road; it’s not fun. My intention was not to hurt him. I was just playing fast.”

Jadeveon Clowney Is 1 Season Removed From 9.0 Sacks, 19 Quarterback Hits & 11 Tackles for Loss With Browns

Beyond whatever bad blood may exist between Clowney and Philadelphia fans, the bigger question is whether the pass rusher could help the Eagles win a Super Bowl in Las Vegas. Clowney has missed significant time in two of the last three seasons, including being sidelined for five games in 2022. Clowney posted a modest 28 tackles, 4 quarterback hits and 4 tackles for loss in those contests.

Despite the viral highlights at South Carolina, Clowney has become better known as a run-stopper than a sack master in the NFL. Yet, Clowney is just one season removed from 9 sacks, 37 tackles, 19 quarterback hits, 11 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles during 14 starts in 2021.

If the Eagles are looking for a reason to be aggressive by adding Clowney, the potential prove-it deal is one factor, but a deep Philadelphia defensive line would set the three-time Pro Bowler up for success. Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger believes there is a reason to be optimistic that Clowney will benefit from a move from Cleveland.

“Clowney is coming off a down year in the pass-rushing department, totaling only 29 pressures and two sacks, but a change of scenery could allow him to thrive again, similar to what happened in his first year in Cleveland,” Spielberger detailed on May 10. “Clowney is one of the best run-defending edges in the NFL over the past decade and should benefit from having a lot of talent around him.”