It was earlier in the offseason that the Cleveland Browns met with Pro Bowl pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney during the initial stages of NFL free agency.
More than anything, it appeared that Clowney and the Browns just wanted to get familiar with one another. No signing was imminent.
That’s now changed. NFL insider Josina Anderson reports that the two sides are set to meet on Monday. Jonathan Jones from CBS Sports followed that up by indicating that the two sides will ultimately agree to a deal.
In terms of potential free agent signings this late in the NFL calendar, this would be a pretty big deal. The No. 1 overall pick of the Houston Texans back in 2014, Clowney has seen somewhat of a downtick in production over the past two years.
He recorded just six quarterback hits and zero sacks with the Tennessee Titans last season. That came after Clowney registered all of 13 quarterback hits and three sacks in his only season with the Seattle Seahawks back in 2019.
With that said, we’re talking about one of the most productive pass rushers from 2016-18. That span saw Jadeveon Clowney record a combined 59 quarterback hits and 24.5 sacks for the Texans, earning a Pro Bowl appearance each season.
Impact of Jadeveon Clowney likely landing with the Cleveland Browns
If Clowney can return to the form we saw him with in Houston, this is going to be an absolutely huge move for a Browns team that expects to compete for a Super Bowl in 2021.
Fresh off their first NFL Playoff appearance since 2002, the Browns boast some elite-level talent on the defensive front. Fellow former No. 1 pick Myles Garrett was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in 2020, recording 18 quarterback hits, 12 sacks and four forced fumbles. He now has a running mate to work with moving forward.
It’s going to be hard for opposing offenses to scheme against Garrett and Clowney. That’s especially true with Cleveland boasting a solid interior of the defensive line with Sheldon Richardson.
In reality, this is all about putting pressure on AFC North quarterbacks in Ben Roethlisberger, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow. Being able to find pressure from all areas of the defensive line will also help a secondary that yielded a surprisingly high 31 touchdown passes a season ago.
Coming off an 11-win campaign, the Browns have made some big moves this offseason. That includes bringing in defensive reinforcements, cornerback Troy Hill and safety John Johnson. Adding Jadeveon Clowney to the mix is just icing on the cake.
If Baker Mayfield can continue with what we saw last season, these Browns are going to be legitimate AFC Championship contenders. Imagine reading that sentence just two short years ago.