The Jadeveon Clowney conundrum
The Cleveland Browns must determine how they will go forward when it comes to pending free agent Jadeveon Clowney.
When the Cleveland Browns were finally able to complete their multi-year pursuit of Jadeveon Clowney, no one was quite sure what exactly he would provide. For several years prior a mixture of injuries and underwhelming performance have marred what was once a promising prospect reducing him to name recognition only. What Cleveland was able to get from Clowney this past season nobody could have realistically expected.
The 2021 campaign saw Jadeveon Clowney finish with nine sacks, 19 quarterback hits, 11 tackles for loss, and 37 tackles total. These were the best numbers that the former number one overall pick had posted since his final year in Houston (2018). One-year stints in Seattle and Tennessee did not result in much of an impact as his production declined in addition to dealing with injuries, a recurring theme throughout his career. Considering how Clowney has gotten to this point, how should the Browns approach his pending free agency?
This is the moment in time where the Browns must identify that their one-year $8 million dollar gamble worked and now is the time to walk away from the table. Understanding how Jadeveon Clowney got to the point where he was last off-season and why Andrew Berry was able to end his Joe Dumars-esque Allen Iverson type pursuit. Clowney obviously outperformed his contract with the Browns as the secondary pass rusher making pass rusher money. With the promotional tour of Clowney about to begin with this eyes set on an even bigger payday, the Browns should bow out of these talks.
It is about understanding the total body of work (injuries included) and whether or not his performance is repeatable. That’s before the salary is accounted for and if they would be better off taking that money to improve multiple positions and not spending heavily on two defensive ends.