The Cleveland Browns are rumored to still be the front runners for free agent Jadeveon Clowney according to Yahoo Sports Charles Robinson.
The Cleveland Browns are the rumored front runners to land Jadeveon Clowney according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson. In a conversation with Pat McAfee, Robinson revealed there are a couple of reasons why the Browns may be the team to land the former Pro Bowl defensive end.
Firstly, Robinson cites that Clowney doesn’t have much of a sales pitch to teams. Since he’s seen as an “elite” defensive end, he wants elite money. Yet he’s never had a double-digit sack season in his career. This makes teams who are hungry for a pass rush player wary about committing money to Clowney, who is admittedly a great all-around player even if his numbers aren’t great.
“When are you going to have the 12-to-14 sack season? You haven’t done that,” Robinson said to McAfee. “We’re not going to pay you like you’re a 15-sack guy. You want $20 million (a year), that’s a 12-to-15 sack guy every single year.”
That’s a big issue to overcome if you’re looking for a top-flight guy. Other rumors claim that Clowney has dropped his asking price considerably. Some think it’s around $15 million, while others think he could be had for $12 million a year.
This brings up the other issue. Clowney came off of a one-and-done year in Seattle, where he played on the franchise tag. Robinson believes that Clowney may have to take a one-year “prove it” deal. Probably something incentive heavy. This is part of the reason, in theory, that Clowney remains unsigned.
Robinson is under the impression though that the Browns want Clowney long-term and if he’s willing to make a concession or two, he may have a nice deal awaiting him from the Browns.
“I think the Browns are interested in (Clowney) longer term than that,” Robinson surmised.
A fact often pointed out by fans is that Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Denzel Ward, and Myles Garrett are all going to need new contracts in a year or two and that the team should be wary about where it spends its money. Yet, the Browns should be able to make their current cap-space work for them in re-signing those players. Beyond this year, the team should be able to afford Clowney (in theory), by subsidizing the money the team was giving to Olivier Vernon in 2020 to Clowney instead starting in 2021. By assuming that money to Vernon remains tied up, the Browns are still capable of re-signing their corp. It would mean no major free agent signings for a while if that’s the case, but hopefully, the team won’t need to chase after big names if this idea pans out.
The team could also afford to carry both Clowney and Vernon after this year as well. That is, if Vernon capitulates to a new deal with a lot less money and a few more years.
Plus there’s a strong belief that no matter what happens with Odell Beckham Jr., that he’ll be moved eventually due to his large salary cap number. This could also help them free up money for extensions to their corp players.
Clowney would be a great addition not just for the pass-rush, but the run as well. He’s a well-rounded end, and if the Browns can land him for less than $15 million a year, then they should leap at the opportunity.