Could this really happen? Is this real? Could Jadeveon Clowney actually be a Cleveland Brown in 2021?
Yes, yes and yes! Although there is no official word yet, Clowney is heading into a second visit with the Browns and there seems to be mutual interest. And why wouldn’t there be? Cleveland is coming off their best season in recent memory and one of their best seasons in franchise history and they will only improve heading into Year Two with Kevin Stefanski. Clowney, on the other hand, is a former 1st Overall Pick and has a lot of juice left in the tank after only playing in eight games in 2020 with the Titans.
The 28-year-old is currently looking for his third team in as many years after the one-year experiment in Tennessee did not pan out for either side. Clowney injured his knee and now has not played a full 16 game season since 2017. He finished the 2020 season with just 19 tackles and no sacks. Clowney has never been a player with large sack numbers, so what would he bring to the Browns’ already talented front seven?
You can never have too many pass-rushers and the Browns know that. Earlier this offseason, Cleveland brought in another former first-round pick in Takkarist McKinley (26th overall in 2017). Clowney would slot in as the starter opposite of Myles Garrett, with McKinley being a rotational, 3rd down pass-rush specialist. As of now, the only two other pass rushers on the roster are Porter Gustin, Joe Jackson and Cameron Malveaux. Even with the McKinley signing, there is a big depth need for another pass-rusher.
Like Garrett, Clowney is known for his power and raw athletic ability. While he has never topped more than 9.5 sacks in a season, Clowney has been a force since he has entered the league. How? Pressure. He is great against the run and getting pressure on the quarterback. In order to beat the Ravens, pressuring Lamar Jackson and the running game is essential. Clowney is great at both keeping and containing while shrinking the pocket for quarterbacks and runningbacks trying to run the ball outside. With the Steelers’ quick-passing offense, Clowney would bring pass deflections to Cleveland. He has 18 in his career and had four in only 8 games played last season. If he can get in Big Ben’s head and make him double-clutch, Clowney will allow the rest of the Browns defense to get into the backfield.
Perhaps the best attribute Clowney would bring to the Browns is taking pressure off of Myles Garrett. If Myles Garrett can have MVP-caliber seasons without a former first overall pick on the other side, then imagine what he can do when he will not see as many double-teams? The production could seriously be record-breaking (not to get too dramatic). This would also benefit Clowney in multiple ways. His production would go up, both in sacks and tackles for loss, but it would also help him out not being the number one pass-rusher. He had to be that guy in Seattle and in Tennessee and has seen some down seasons. His best statistical seasons were in Houston when he had JJ Watt, another number 1 overall pick, opposite of him.
While he is heading on his second visit, Browns fans are optimistic that a deal could get done. Clowney’s value is much less than it was last season when the Browns pursued him as well. Will they get a deal done after this visit and make the Browns defensive line even more of a force or will Clowney take his time in making a decision like he did last year? That is the question, but if he does decide to come to Cleveland, one thing is for sure. The City of Cleveland will be as lively as ever when they host the upcoming NFL Draft at the end of the month.