Cleveland Browns rumors: Jadeveon Clowney running out of options

In Cleveland Browns rumors, signing Jadeveon Clowney seems to shrink by the day, but with the pass rusher facing rumored diminished options, who knows?

As long as Jadeveon Clowney is on the free-agent market, there’s going to be Cleveland Browns rumors popping up surrounding the team and the defensive lineman.

However, Clowney signing with any team doesn’t appear imminent, according to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline. The Pro Football Network writer went so far as to write that he doesn’t believe Clowney is waiting the market out, rather his “options are diminishing.”

Pauline’s point make sense in that teams who would’ve been in the market to sign Clowney now have gone through free agency and the draft to fill their needs on the defensive line.

While the Browns have been linked to Clowney, a potential deal never seemed to make sense. Clowney probably wanted a multi-year deal with an upfront guarantee when free agency started. Pay any attention to analytics, and overpaying for a veteran player, who doesn’t excel at rushing passer, doesn’t seem to fit into the analytics model.

That’s especially true when you consider the player on the Browns’ roster who would likely be cut if Clowney is signed: Olivier Vernon. You’re probably disappointed with Vernon after another season riddled with injury, however, when he did play, PFF graded him out as doing very well.

Plus, if you follow the money, Vernon is a free agent after the season. He simply comes off the books, whereas signing Clowney would likely take a lengthier commitment. The Browns big trend this offseason was to sign help on defense to one-year contracts.

Kevin Johnson, Andrew Billings, Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo aren’t the “name” Clowney is, but the Browns minimized the risk on their salary cap by agreeing to short-term pacts with these players.

It’ll be interesting to watch Clowney’s situation play out, as the COVID-19 pandemic makes visiting teams impossible. Perhaps his number comes down and he signs a one-year contract.

If the Browns were interested before, my guess is they might be interested again, but that’s just speculation at this point.

Look for Cleveland to ride with Vernon, as the Browns need another consistent pass rusher not named Myles Garrett.