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Report: Cleveland Browns now unlikely to pursue Jadeveon Clowney

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns spent much of their offseason pursuing prized free-agent edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney. After months of waiting on him, the Browns are now reportedly joining a list of NFL teams done negotiating with him.

Cleveland Browns unlikely to pursue signing Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney entered the offseason as one of the most talented players on the open market. While he drew some early interest, including from the Cleveland Browns, his massive asking price drove teams.

The market never fully blossomed for the 27-year-old edge rusher, resulting in him remaining a free agent deep into the summer. Now, per ProFootballTalk, the Browns are unlikely to pursue Clowney after Olivier Vernon agreed to renegotiate his contract.

Cleveland, like other NFL clubs, recognizes that Clowney is an incredible talent. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always translated into production. Clowney’s stats have always been inconsistent throughout his career.

After being drafted by the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, he played in just 17 games and recorded 4.5 sacks with 11 tackles for loss and eight quarterbacks hits. It finally came together for him in this third NFL season, earning second-team All-Pro honors.

Clowney recorded 18.5 sacks and 42 quarterback hits across his previous two seasons, but things came off the rails after being traded to the Seattle Seahawks. He started 11 games this past season, registering just three sacks.

Why does Jadeveon Clowney remain a free agent?

The Philadelphia EaglesBaltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks expressed interest in Clowney this offseason. Most recently, he received a contract offer from the Las Vegas Raiders. Yet, one of the league’s most recognizable players remains a free agent.

For as talented as he is, NFL teams reportedly doubt his work ethic and question his dedication to football. Paired with his durability issues, which have been a problem throughout his career, it has caused teams to value him far less than he imagined.

Ultimately, Clowney will need to settle for a one-year contract to prove himself. It could create an opportunity to play for a top contender, but we might be waiting for a while to see him sign.