Report: Browns Have Shown Interest In Jadeveon Clowney
The Cleveland Browns have been linked to free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney as reported by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Arguably the top remaining free agent on the market, Clowney has not received the offers he had been hoping for in free agency. Clowney has been reportedly looking for $20 million and teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, but teams have been more inclined to offer him in the neighborhood of $16 million per season.
The Browns have also been linked to defensive end Everson Griffen. Olivier Vernon is currently on the Browns roster scheduled to make $15.5 million this season, none of which is guaranteed. If the Browns were to be able to get Clowney to sign, they could release or trade Vernon and largely replace Vernon's salary with Clowney's.
Clowney, 27, has the capacity to be a dominant base end with the ability to play on the edge or shift to the interior. He's yet to become the top end pass rusher he was supposed to be coming out of South Carolina and he has dealt with a few serious injuries over the course of his career. His career high in sacks is 9.5, which was in 2017. After n in 2018, he recorded just three in 2019.
There is clearly a switch with Clowney, because when he's been in the playoffs, he's been everything a team would want and more. And at times, he can take over games during the regular season, but he disappears at times and those are reasons he's not getting the offers he's hoping to get.
It's unlikely that Clowney is looking for a long term deal either, likely preferring a shorter term deal to be back on the market next offseason with what is likely to be a much larger salary cap across the league. Perhaps the Browns would try to persuade him to sign for a couple years with lucrative incentives, which would also ensure they get the player Clowney can be.
The likeliest scenario is the Browns and Seahawks have talked and Clowney's agent is making sure every team in the NFL knows they've talked, trying to get teams to make their best offer, so a deal can get done. The Browns have been aggressive in free agency and Clowney would certainly fit in with that, but they aren't going to be moved by an agent negotiating in public. It seems entirely aimed at the Seahawks.
If the Browns were to be able to sign Clowney, he could play left end in base, then slide inside next to Sheldon Richardson with Myles Garrett moving over to the left end spot and newly signed Adrian Clayborn on the right end. That would give the Browns a remarkabe front both in terms of size and athleticism to attack the opposing quarterback.