For the fifth-straight offseason, Jadeveon Clowney is on the market. The Browns announced that they’ve released the defensive end.
After joining the Browns for the 2021 season, Clowney re-signed with the organization last offseason. While that contract technically featured some future seasons, the Browns would have had to commit more than $40MM to the defensive end if he was still on the roster on Friday. As a result, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that Clowney’s second contract with the organization was always intended to be a one-year deal.
The former first-overall pick helped rehabilitate his image in 2021 following a disappointing, zero-sack performance with the Titans in 2020. Clowney started all 14 of his appearances for Cleveland in 2021, with his nine sacks proving to be his best mark since the 2018 campaign.
However, things slightly went down hill in 2022. Clowney wasn’t nearly as productive in his 12 games (10 starts), collecting only a pair of sacks and four QB hits, his lowest total in that latter mark since his four-game rookie campaign. Further, after publicly questioning his playing time and hinting that he wouldn’t be back in Cleveland for the 2023 campaign, Clowney was sent home by the organization and was inactive for the season finale. The defensive lineman later apologized for his comments, but it seemed pretty clear that Clowney’s stint in Cleveland had all but come to an end.
Still, considering Clowney’s pedigree, there’s a solid chance he finds another gig this offseason. Despite his numbers being down, Clowney still finished as Pro Football Focus’ 27th edge rusher (among 119 qualifiers), with the site giving him a particularly high grade for his running defense.
Meanwhile, the Browns also officially announced that they’ve released safety John Johnson. We heard back in February that the Browns were planning to part ways with the veteran.