Browns defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney joined Cleveland with a one-year agreement in 2021. Then, he signed a new one-year contract to stay with the team during the offseason. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the players and the team members are looking to keep their relationship through 2023 and possibly beyond.
Clowney did not sign the massive deal worth $20 million per year the team was hoping for when he entered free agency in the very first instance years ago. However, following an unsatisfactory 2020 season with the Titans Clowney seems to have found a home with Browns. In his last season, he recorded nine sacks — which is the second-highest number of sacks in his career. He also proved to be a great partner to legendary defensive end Myles Garrett. This led to him signing an agreement worth $10 million for 2022.
He has yet to play the entire season, and has only recorded two sacks over the 11 games he has played His contributions like they have often been the case for him exceed his statistics at the surface. Pro Football Focus have awarded him a solid 75.9 overall rating, which is the 29th highest score among 121 certified edge defenders. It also considers him to be a top performer in both the pass and the run.
Garrett himself has lobbied to get a contract extension to his running mate in the offseason. His opinion regarding the number. one overall pick in the 2014 draft hasn’t changed. “When [Clowney]’s out there, you can feel his presence,” Garrett stated. “He’s setting the perimeter and he’s taking [tackles for losstackles for loss. He’s making big plays. .” defensive Coordinator Joe Woods added just, “we need him.”
Clowney stated in June that the player Deshaun Watson‘s decision to join the Browns has influenced his decision to stay in Cleveland. Because of Watson’s long suspension and Clowney’s latest concussion, former Texans teammates have played only three games during the regular season this season, and Cabot believes Watson’s presence may make it easier for Clowney to come back. The Browns will have a lot of work to complete to strengthen the defensive line in the offseason, which means that budgetary considerations will play a major role when deciding whether to approve the third contract for Clowney. It appears, however, that a new deal is important to consider.
Woods could, however, not have as much luck. According to Cabot Woods, the third-year defense director “will be looked at closely” during the offseason, and he may even be granted walking papers. The Browns are at an average position with regard to total defense and have a significant fall from their top-five performance in 2021. Additionally, their run defense has been especially weak. Cleveland has 134.3 running yards per game, which is the worst eighth statistic in the league and they rank 25th within the NFL for defensive DVOA. The team’s scoring defense (22.9 points per game) is 21st.
Coordinator for Special Teams Mike Priefer is also in a tense spot according to Cabot, however, the head Coach Kevin Stefanski will be kept (despite recent reports that he may be in the spotlight).