Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney Back To Full Strength After Knee Surgery

Jadeveon Clowney has always been extremely talented, but he’s often struggled with injuries since getting drafted first overall by the Texans back in 2014.

Last season Clowney waited a long time to sign with the Titans, eventually inking a one-year, $13MM pact with them. He had a very disappointing season in Tennessee as injuries limited him to eight games (and zero sacks) before he shut it down to have knee surgery. Clowney signed with the Browns in April, and the team was apparently at least a little concerned about the knee since it was reported they wanted to see him pass a physical before giving him his contract.

Fortunately, it appears all is well so far. Clowney is “already showing that he’s healthy again” and “exploded off the line” at recent Browns minicamp practices, Jake Trotter of ESPN.com writes. “I’ve been training extremely hard this offseason, so I kind of already have a feel of where I was coming here,” Clowney said.

“I felt great coming in, and I feel great now.” That’s good news, since the Browns are counting on him to help replace Olivier Vernon‘s nine sacks from last year and form an elite edge duo opposite Myles Garrett.

Cleveland sought to protect themselves a little bit by giving Clowney a one-year deal worth “up to” $10MM. We learned that it has a base value of $7MM with another $3MM available. He’ll earn $1MM of that just by staying healthy in per-game active roster bonuses, and another $2MM through playing time and sack bonuses.

Six months after having surgery for the torn meniscus, it appears Clowney is back to full strength (for now).

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Details On Jadeveon Clowney’s Deal With Browns

We learned yesterday that Jadeveon Clowney would be joining the Browns on a one-year, $10MM deal, and we’ve now got details on the new pact. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the deal includes a $4.5MM signing bonus and a fully guaranteed base salary worth $2.5MM.

[RELATED: Browns To Sign Jadeveon Clowney]

The deal also includes $1MM in 46-man roster bonuses and $2MM in incentives (including $1MM in playing time bonuses and $1MM in sacks bonuses), making the deal effectively a one-year, $8MM deal that could be worth up to $10MM. Interestingly, the deal is technically a five-year pact, but that ultimately voids to a one-year pact for cap purposes.

Clowney didn’t necessarily have a robust market following an underwhelming season with the Titans that saw him collect 19 tackles and zero sacks in eight games; the Browns were one of three teams (along with the Colts and Ravens) who were connected to the former first-overall pick. While Clowney denied Cleveland last offseason, the team’s pursuit was successful this time around. The 28-year-old told NFL.com’s Nick Shook that the team’s continued interest (along with the money) ultimately changed his tune.

“It meant a lot, man,” Clowney said. “It means you’re wanted by somebody. You can tell that [if] somebody really wants you, they’re gonna use you the right way, so that was another big part of me making my decision. They wanted me and when you’re wanted by somebody, you can’t just turn it down like a relationship.”

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Browns To Sign Jadeveon Clowney

The Browns have agreed to sign Jadeveon Clowney (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The defensive end will receive a one-year contract worth up to $10MM. The Browns have since confirmed the deal.

Clowney will start opposite of Myles Garrett, giving the Browns two former No. 1 overall picks at defensive end. f course, Clowney hasn’t put up the same kind of gaudy sack totals. He’s coming off of an eight-game, zero sack season that was shorted by knee trouble. He did, however, notch 19 tackles, four tackles for a loss, six quarterback hits, four passes defensed, and one forced fumble for the Titans. Also, the advanced metrics were still fond of his work. At the time of his season-ending injury, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 16th-best edge player in the league. PFF also gave him above-average marks in both run defense and pass coverage.

We’re excited to add Jadeveon to our defensive line,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He’s a disruptive force that will help us against the run and the pass. We’ve been able to make some nice additions to our defense throughout free agency and we are looking forward to getting to work, so we can improve our team.”

Naturally, teams were concerned about Clowney’s injury history, but he has already passed his physical with the Browns. That’s a good sign for the summer to come, as Clowney will have ample time to gear up for September. He’ll join a handful of new faces on the Browns’ defense, including cornerback Troy Hill, linebacker Anthony Walker, and ex-Falcons first-rounder Takkarist McKinley, who should factor into the DE rotation.

Jadeveon’s had a very productive career since 2014. We love his relentless style of play,” Browns GM Andrew Berry said. “He’s one of the more disruptive players in the game and we think he’s going to add an element of ruggedness along our defensive line and will pair nicely with many of the guys we have on the roster already. The other thing we love about Jadeveon is his versatility, his ability to play all across the front and impact the game regardless of his alignment.”

The three-time Pro Bowler averaged 8.2 sacks and two forced fumbles per season between 2016 and 2018. Unfortunately, he’s turned in only one full 16-game slate as a pro. He’ll have another opportunity to reassert himself in Cleveland, especially with opposing blockers putting the bulk of the attention on Garrett.

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Browns Still Jadeveon Clowney Favorites?

Evidently keen on cramming his months-long 2020 free agency saga into a three-day period this year, Jadeveon Clowney remains on track to visit the Browns. After a travel snag, the former No. 1 overall pick is scheduled to arrive in Cleveland on Tuesday night, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports.

Clowney is scheduled to take a Browns physical Wednesday and meet with team brass again. While the veteran pass rusher has experienced health issues for much of his career, Cabot adds he is expected to pass. Although contract details must be finalized, Cabot notes “all signs point to” the seven-year veteran edge defender signing with the Browns.

Clowney has received interest from the Colts and Ravens as well, and a report earlier Monday indicated nothing was imminent on the Clowney-to-Cleveland front. Baltimore was in the muddled mix for the three-time Pro Bowler last year as well. But the Browns offered him the most money last year. Clowney was lukewarm on Cleveland in 2020. By heading back to northeast Ohio on a second visit in three weeks, the former Texans, Seahawks and Titans edge appears to have changed his tune.

It is unclear how serious the Ravens and Colts are, but a multi-team market will benefit Clowney. However, he almost certainly will not receive what he could have from the Browns last year. And he will fall short of the one-year, $13MM Titans pact he inked as well. Should the Browns sign Clowney, he will likely again have to settle for a one-year deal, Cabot adds. The torn meniscus that ended Clowney’s 2020 season is not expected to be an issue with his next team. The 28-year-old defender is expected to receive full clearance this month.

Clowney would join Takk McKinley as former first-round picks tabbed to complement Myles Garrett. Olivier Vernon is a free agent, and the Browns released Adrian Clayborn. They entered the offseason with a clear goal of adding a proven bookend for Garrett. Clowney has flashed as a pass rusher and has been a high-end run defender, among edge players, despite his injury troubles. Playing opposite Garrett (and staying healthy) would put Clowney in a favorable situation to command a long-sought-after multiyear contract down the road.

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Latest On Jadeveon Clowney

Last night, we heard that the Browns were hoping to host Jadeveon Clowney for a second time today, and that a deal was looking likely. We may need to pump the brakes there just a little bit.

Cleveland is going to host Clowney on Wednesday now, and “nothing is imminent” on the contract front, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports (Twitter video link). We heard this morning that the Ravens and Colts are also pursuing the edge rusher, so they’ve got competition. Interestingly, Rapsheet says that the Browns want to see Clowney pass a physical on Wednesday. They’re apparently at least a bit concerned about the former first overall pick’s knee.

Clowney who has had multiple knee injuries in his career, is coming off surgery for a torn meniscus that limited him to just eight games with the Titans in 2020. Cleveland has made finding an edge rusher to pair opposite Myles Garrett, and replace Olivier Vernon, a priority this offseason.

They were in on J.J. Watt, and signed fellow former first-rounder Takkarist McKinley. It appeared a Clowney signing was likely to happen to day, but now it looks like we’re going to have to wait at least a couple of days.

Clowney waited until the first week of September to sign last year, so this is actually an expedited process for him. 2020 was somewhat of a lost season, as he finished with no sacks in that injury-plagued half campaign.

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Ravens, Colts Interested In Jadeveon Clowney

The Ravens and Colts have been keeping tabs on free agent edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler). Meanwhile, the Browns have been the most aggressive of the bunch and they’re currently the clubhouse leaders to land him.

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta is not expected to sign an edge rusher until after May 3, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. That’s the point when UFA signings no longer impact the compensatory pick formula. With that in mind, the Ravens are more likely to draft an edge rusher and add a free agent sometime in May. Clowney, who has played the waiting game before, would probably prefer to wrap up the process sooner with the Browns.

The Browns presented Clowney with the best multi-year offer of any team last year, but he chose a one-year, $13MM pact with the Titans instead. This time around, the interest is mutual, even though Clowney’s eight-game, zero-sack performance left much to be desired. With the Browns, Clowney would replace Olivier Vernon to play opposite of Myles Garrett.

Before they circled back to Clowney, the Browns also pursued J.J. Watt in free agency. They lost out on Watt, but they did add former first-round pick Takkarist McKinley as well as Malik Jackson though Jackson is expected to play more on the interior.

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Browns To Host Jadeveon Clowney Again, Deal Likely?

Things appear to be heating up between Jadeveon Clowney and the Browns. Cleveland is arranging a second visit for the free agent edge rusher, likely for Monday, a source told Josina Anderson (Twitter link). The belief is that the sides will be able to work out a contract during that visit, sources told Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

Clowney initially met with the Browns back on March 24th. No deal materialized at the time, but we heard about a week later that the team was still very much interested, so this second visit isn’t too surprising. During Clowney’s last free agency in 2020, the Browns were reportedly his best multi-year offer, so they’ve been after him for a while. Rather than take that multi-year deal from Cleveland, Clowney opted to sign a one-year, $13MM pact with the Titans.

That didn’t work out, as injuries limited him to only eight games last season. In those eight games, he had zero sacks, and he’ll now likely have to settle for a significantly cheaper deal. The Browns are letting Olivier Vernon walk, and we’ve heard all offseason that their plan was to bring in a big name edge guy to pair with Myles Garrett.

They signed former first-rounder Takk McKinley last month, but that apparently wasn’t enough to satisfy them. The first overall pick of the 2014 draft, Clowney has never quite lived up to his potential and has often struggled with health issues, but he’s also shown he can be a legit disruptor along the defensive front.

His sack numbers have never been anything eye-popping (career-high 9.5 in 2017), but he’s capable of setting the edge with the best of them and being a very strong presence in the run game. The 28-year-old made the Pro Bowl three straight years from 2016-18, and it sounds like he’s getting closer to finding his third NFL home.

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North Notes: Clowney, Vaitai, Parks

Let’s round up a few notes from the North divisions:

  • For the second year in a row, Jadeveon Clowney is drawing interest from the Browns. Though Clowney’s recent visit to Cleveland did not result in a contract, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says the Browns still want to sign him if the price is right (and assuming the team is comfortable with his health). Clowney ultimately settled for a one-year, $13MM pact from the Titans last year after originally seeking a multi-year contract with an AAV of $20MM, and any deal he signs this year will likely be for much less than last year’s $13MM salary. But new Browns acquisition Malik Jackson believes Cleveland has what it takes to win the Super Bowl in 2021, and he suggested that Clowney should jump at the chance to sign up with the Browns. “If you want to hop on board, come hop on board,” Jackson said. “I understand the free agency market is not what he probably wants, but things are bigger than monetary value. You get a chance to be on a good team and set yourself up in the future.”
  • When the Lions signed Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a five-year, $50MM contract last offseason, most expected he would suit up at right tackle. He missed six games in 2020 due to injury, but he played five games at guard, four games at tackle, and he split time between the two positions in one other game. New head coach Dan Campbell says he currently plans to slot the TCU product at guard (via Tim Twentyman of the team’s official website). “[W]e’re a little intrigued about moving him inside to guard.” Campbell said. “That does intrigue us. We may as a starting point work there and see where we’re at.” Campbell should have a solid group to protect QB Jared Goff, with Taylor Decker at LT, Jonah Jackson at LG, Frank Ragnow at C, Vaitai at RG, and a deep OL draft to add a quality rookie at RT.
  • Before the Vikings signed former Cowboys safety Xavier Woods as part of their overhaul in the secondary, they tried to land Will Parks, as Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. Parks spent the first four years of his career in Denver before signing a one-year pact with the Eagles last offseason. He didn’t make it through the 2020 season with Philadelphia, as he was waived late in the season and was claimed by the Broncos (though the Vikings put in a claim as well). But according to Wolfson, Minnesota wanted to bring in Parks on a veteran minimum pact — which the club also tried with Woods — and Parks turned them down.

Jadeveon Clowney Visits Browns

Last year, the Browns spent months attempting to bring Jadeveon Clowney to Cleveland. They ended up doing so, on a visit at least. Clowney arranged a meeting with the Browns, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The parties are met Wednesday, with Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal tweeting the summit has concluded.

The veteran defensive end is coming off an unremarkable season with the Titans, with injuries limiting him yet again. Despite his seven years of NFL experience, however, Clowney is just 28. And he is one of the top free agents still available. No deal is imminent, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. With Clowney not yet 100% after a 2020 knee injury, teams’ caution makes sense.

This comes at an interesting time for the Browns. They chased J.J. Watt in free agency and have been rumored to be prepared to devote notable resources to adding a bookend pass rusher opposite Myles Garrett. Olivier Vernon played that role for two seasons, but the Browns attempted to sign Clowney to replace him last year. Vernon is now a free agent and coming off an Achilles tear. And the Browns, despite being linked to several veteran sack artists, remain understaffed at the D-end spot opposite Garrett.

The Browns did add Takkarist McKinley, but they will certainly add more pieces to help on their defensive front. They agreed to terms with Malik Jackson last week as well, and although Jackson has experience playing end in a 4-3 scheme, he has mostly served as an inside rusher in his nine-year career. Clowney has experience inside as well, but he would qualify as a starter-caliber player opposite Garrett on the edge.

Clowney was not high on Cleveland last year, but his value took a hit last season. Although Clowney is not known for his sack prowess, he recorded zero in eight Titans games. Since his 2018 Pro Bowl season with the Texans — the most recent of his three Pro Bowl slates — Clowney has just three sacks. The Seahawks opted to let Clowney walk after the 2019 season, and he spent months in free agency before joining the Titans on a one-year, $13MM deal. His next team will be able to land him at a cheaper rate.

One of the league’s top run-defending edge players, Clowney has battled injuries for most of his career. The former No. 1 overall pick suffered a torn meniscus last year, and although he is expected to be ready for football work by April, he has a history of knee issues. A groin injury hampered him in Seattle.

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Titans’ Jadeveon Clowney Expects To Be Cleared In April

Jadeveon Clowney expects full medical clearance by April, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Clowney underwent surgery to repair his torn meniscus but already believes that he’s close to being ready. 

In other words, this is shaping up to be another extended free agency tilt for the Titans edge rusher. Last year, his knee kept him on the sidelines for half of the season. In eight games, Clowney notched 19 tackles, one forced fumble, and zero sacks.

Clowney has said that he wouldn’t mind staying with the Titans. Whether the Titans want him back is another question. The veteran did not live up to his one-year, $12MM deal, though the former No. 1 overall pick isn’t far removed from Pro Bowl days. From 2016 through 2018, Clowney averaged 8.2 sacks and two forced fumbles per season, solidifying him as one of the best edge rushers in the game. Of course, injuries have gotten in the way — he’s only turned in one full 16-game slate as a pro.

Despite the weak platform year, it’s worth noting that the advanced metrics were still fond of his work. At the time of his season-ending injury, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 16th-best edge player in the league. PFF also gave him above-average marks in both run defense and pass coverage.

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