Browns Rumors

Poll: Where Will Jadeveon Clowney Sign?

It’s April and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is still without an NFL team. The former No. 1 overall pick isn’t coming off of a banner year, but he plays a premium position and has 32 career sacks to his credit. So, what gives? 

Of course, his price tag is his biggest blocker. Clowney came into the offseason seeking a deal worth $20MM per year. Recently, he backed down from that position, though the incumbent Seahawks are believed to be offering between $13-$15MM per annum, which is still probably less than he’s willing to accept.

A reunion still seems possible, but Clowney’s camp is working to find a better deal in the interim. Late last week, the Browns entered the sweepstakes and some league officials believe that they have the strongest interest of any suitor. The Browns have tons of cap room – about $43MM – and they might be willing to use some of it to swap Olivier Vernon for Clowney. Of course, that might be easier said than done, since the Browns would still have to find a team willing to take on the rest of Vernon’s contract, which is set to pay him $15.25MM.

The Jets could use Clowney’s edge rushing ability, but they’ve been taking a conservative approach to free agency after whiffing on their preferred targets in March. The Titans have also been linked to him, thanks to Clowney’s relationship with head coach Mike Vrabel from their Houston days, but they’re less inclined to spend on the pass rush after committing $9MM to outside linebacker Vic Beasley.

Other teams have been connected to Clowney, like the Giants, Colts, and Dolphins, though their pass rush needs have already been addressed. The Eagles remain an interesting landing spot for him from a football perspective, and they have breathing room to work with for right now, but their 2021 situation could complicate things. In theory, Philly could still land Clowney if he is willing to accept a one-year deal. The Ravens – with less than $11MM in cap space for the current year – seem less likely to sign him. For the sake of casting a wide net, we’ll include all of those teams in our poll.

Where do you think Clowney will sign? Cast your vote in the poll below (link for app users) and back up your pick in the comments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Keeping Vernon On Table For Browns?

Browns Interested In Jadeveon Clowney

The Browns have entered the enduring Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes. Not only is Cleveland now involved in the Clowney pursuit, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports some around the league believe the Browns have come closer to a Clowney deal than other suitors thus far (Twitter link).

The Seahawks have been the team most closely connected to Clowney this offseason. While Seattle has tried to make a viable offer to keep the three-time Pro Bowler, Fowler adds that the team’s offer has not satisfied the Clowney camp to this point.

A Clowney-Browns scenario would be interesting given the team’s defensive end depth. The Browns already employ Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon. A Clowney deal would point to Vernon being on the outs.

In late February, Vernon was linked to being a candidate for a pay cut or release. In the final year of his Giants-constructed contract, the veteran defensive end is set to earn $15.25MM. The Browns are not expected to pay him this much, but the former Dolphins and Giants pass rusher remains on the roster. The Browns have shopped Vernon, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal adds, but any deal would likely be contingent on Cleveland picking up some of his salary.

This week, both the Jets and Titans re-emerged as Clowney suitors. The former No. 1 overall pick also dropped his price off the $20MM-per-year mark. However, the Seahawks’ proposal likely lands between $13-$15MM per year.

Cleveland’s $43MM-plus in cap space leads the NFL by a wide margin. Seattle currently holds less than $15MM in cap room.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Won't Move Jack Conklin To RT

  • Free agent addition Jack Conklin is the Browns‘ best offensive tackle by a wide margin, but that doesn’t mean they’ll try to play him on Baker Mayfield‘s blindside in 2020, head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, via conference call on Thursday. Conklin, who inked a three-year $42MM deal with Cleveland after spending four seasons in Tennessee, has played right tackle for nearly all of his career (he’s lined up at left tackle just 68 times since entering the NFL). The Browns are reportedly open to considering Trent Williams (via trade) or free agent Jason Peters at left tackle, but the club could also target the position in the draft, where it holds the 10th overall pick.

Contract Details: Zuerlein, Bills, Cardinals

Here are the latest details from the second wave of free agency. All links courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless otherwise noted.

Browns, DE Adrian Clayborn Agree To Deal

The Browns continue to add role players to their defense. They have agreed to terms with veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The parties reached an agreement on a two-year, $6MM deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, adding the pact’s max value is $7MM.

Clayborn worked as a part-time player for the Falcons in four of the past five years and won a Super Bowl with the 2018 Patriots. He makes sense as a rotational cog who could work behind Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon.

New Browns GM Andrew Berry has spent extensive time augmenting the Browns’ defensive depth in free agency. Cleveland has now signed Clayborn, Andrew Sendejo, Karl Joseph, Kevin Johnson, B.J. Goodson and Andrew Billings this month.

Playing 42% of the Falcons’ defensive snaps last season, Clayborn graded as a top-40 edge defender last season (per Pro Football Focus). He saw action on more than 50% of the Falcons’ snaps from 2015-17 and topped out in ’17 with a 9.5-sack season, aided by a six-sack day against a Cowboys team missing Tyron Smith.

The 2020 season will be Clayborn’s age-32 campaign. Formerly a Buccaneers first-round pick, Clayborn has 36.5 career sacks and 10 forced fumbles. Five of those strips have occurred since 2017. Clayborn registered at least 13 quarterback hits each year from 2015-18 but, despite collecting four sacks, tallied just seven QB knockdowns last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Contract Details: Eifert, Day, Ravens

We already took a look at NFC contract details, so let’s switch focus to the other conference. Like last time, all notes via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter:

  • Tyler Eifert, TE (Jaguars): Two years. Worth $9.5MM, including $3.25MM guaranteed. $2.25MM signing bonus. $1.25MM per-game roster bonus, $2M in incentives (2020). Up to $1M per-game roster bonus, $2M in incentives (2021, if options is exercised).
  • Sheldon Day, DT (Colts): Signed. One-year, $1.75M deal, including $1MM guaranteed. $500K signing bonus, $1MM salary (of which $500K is guaranteed). Up to $250K in per-game roster bonuses.
  • Andrew Billings, DT (Browns): One year, $3.5MM. Fully guaranteed deal. Includes $2MM signing bonus.
  • Anthony Levine, S (Ravens): Signed. One-year, $1.812MM deal, including $350K guaranteed. $137.6K signing bonus, $1.675MM salary (of which $212.5K is guaranteed).
  • Chris Moore, WR (Ravens): Re-signed. One-year, $1.672MM deal, including $275K guaranteed. $137.5K signing bonus, $1.535MM salary (of which $137.5K is guaranteed).
  • Nick Dzubnar, LB (Titans): Signed. One-year, $1.047MM deal. Includes $137.5K signing bonus, $910K salary.

Browns Edged Redskins For Austin Hooper

Several teams expressed interest in Austin Hooper, who became the first free agent to agree to a deal after the tampering period began. While the Browns won the bidding, they beat out a team with a much bigger tight end need.

Seeing their first- and second-string tight ends miss almost all of last season, and each now off the roster, the Redskins emerged as an early Hooper suitor. And the former Falcons tight end confirmed his final decision came down to the Browns and Redskins.

It really came down to Cleveland and Washington. At the end, I chose to be a Brown,” Hooper said during a Sirius XM Radio interview (via NBC Sports Washington). “Redskins were definitely a team that had shown interest I would say. Definitely a solid organization with another talented young quarterback, so that was going to be my next landing spot.”

The Redskins have moved forward without Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, releasing the former and seeing the latter retire. Ron Rivera pursued a Greg Olsen reunion, but the longtime Panthers tight end chose the Seahawks. Washington has since added Richard Rodgers and former quarterback Logan Thomas but likely is not done restocking this position group.

The Bears and Packers joined the Redskins in the Hooper mix, but the Browns — despite their David Njoku employment — won out with a $10.5MM-per-year offer. Chicago submitted a surprising offer to Jimmy Graham (two years, $16MM), while Green Bay re-signed Marcedes Lewis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/26/20

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: LS Nick Moore

Cleveland Browns

Detroit News

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: LB Christian Kuntz

Contract Details: Davis, Roberts, Haeg

Let’s take a closer look at the details of a few recently-signed free agent contracts:

AFC

NFC

  • Sean Davis, S (Redskins): One year, $4MM. $2MM guaranteed (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com).
  • Seth Roberts, WR (Panthers): One year, $3.75MM (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of ESPN.com).
  • Zach Kerr, DT (Panthers): Two years, $3MM. Unknown incentives available (Twitter link via Garafolo).
  • B.J. Goodson, LB (Browns): One year, $2.4MM. $2.25MM guaraneed. $1.25MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).
  • Joe Haeg, T (Buccaneers): One year, $2.3MM. $1.5MM guaranteed. Up to $1MM available via playtime incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Cedric Ogbuehi, T (Seahawks): One year, $2.3MM. $500K guaranteed. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).
  • Will Parks, S (Eagles): One year, $1.5MM. $1.375MM guaranteed. $375K signing bonus. Up to $125K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tajae Sharpe, WR (Vikings): One year, $1MM. $675K guaranteed. $175K signing bonus. Max value of $1.5MM (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Sharrod Neasman, S (Falcons): One year, $950K. $40K signing bonus. Veteran salary benefit (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Joe Walker, LB (49ers): One year, $900K. Max of $75K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Wilson).