After all the waiting, the Cleveland Browns and free agent edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney finally struck a deal this afternoon. Clowney was flown in to Cleveland last night and this morning he passed his physical. With the news of Julian Edelman reportedly failing a physical for the Patriots, Browns fans were on pins and needles waiting for the results of Clowney’s exam. Well, all is well and good and Jadeveon Clowney is a Cleveland Brown.
This visit to Cleveland was the third in one calendar year for Clowney. The Browns made a strong push for him before the 2020 season, but he eventually signed with the Tennessee Titans. After tearing his meniscus in Week 9, Clowney underwent knee surgery. After his physical today, it seems he will be ready to go once the season rolls around.
Jadeveon Clowney Lost 2020 Season
After signing with Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans last summer, Clowney only played in eight games. During those eight games, Clowney did not record a single sack and only had a combined 19 tackles. While the signing is a good thing, Browns fans need to temper their expectations.
Unfortunately, Clowney, the former number one pick out of South Carolina, has played in only one full season in the NFL. He has been ravaged by injuries to his elbow, knees and groin. The hope is that with a full offseason in Berea, Clowney can get back to the form he showed in the 2017 NFL season. That year, he recorded 9.5 sacks, forced two fumbles and also returned a fumble for a touchdown. When healthy, Clowney is one of the most fearsome defenders in the NFL.
What This Means For The Browns
Signing Clowney filled a huge hole in the defensive line left by Olivier Vernon. While expectations need to be reasonable, it is also fair to hope for the best. According to Charles Robinson, Clowney’s deal is worth $8 million over one year, with the ability to earn an extra $2 million in incentives. As for how this affects the rest of the team, well one thing is for sure, the front office will have to try and re-structure Sheldon Richardson’s deal or cut him to free up money for Clowney.
As for the upcoming NFL Draft, I don’t think this signing means the Browns won’t look to add another defensive lineman in the third round. However, I expect their focus to switch more to the defensive backfield, where they are possibly one corner back away from having one of the best defenses, on paper, in the NFL. One wild-card floating around is the Browns might be interested in a wide receiver at 26. With how top-heavy the receiving class is, it’s almost a guarantee one of the top receivers are still on the board at 26. While I don’t expect them to go that route, it wouldn’t shock me.
Once again, Andrew Berry has signed a key player that makes the team better in the near future. The belief around Berea is that the Browns are one or two players away from real Super Bowl contention. While Super Bowls aren’t won on paper, it’s still exciting to see the Browns as a contender again.