Cleveland Browns offering Jadeveon Clowney a one-year deal is smart

Cleveland Browns Jadeveon Clowney
Cleveland Browns Jadeveon Clowney /

The Cleveland Browns are offering Jadeveon Clowney a one-year, $15 million deal.

The saga that is the Cleveland Browns’ pursuit of Jadeveon Clowney has been one that has lasted longer than it should have, like Gollum and the One Ring. They’re still coveting the “precious” but after a deal worth around $18 million per year was rejected, this seems like a stretch.  Well according to Albert Breer, the Browns are offering a one-year, $15 million deal to try and secure the former No. 1 overall pick. Why would the Browns land Clowney on such a team-friendly deal?

Maybe Clowney wants that one-year deal. Maybe that’s been the hangup all along. Maybe Clowney wanted to be able to prove his worth on a one-year deal since he’s had to take a big discount in free agency. In theory, if Clowney plays really well in 2020, he’ll be able to get more next year.

That’s a possibility in Cleveland, with Garrett on the verge of being the highest-paid player in football who doesn’t play quarterback, he’ll be fully incentivized to play his butt off. If the defense really is improved then Clowney will look like a $20+ million player with some help. That’s a win-win for the Browns.

Why’s it a win-win?

The Browns need depth on the defensive line and Olivier Vernon is no guarantee at this point. If Vernon does step up, Clowney has a breakout year, all while Garrett does what he’s expected to do then this defensive front could be extremely productive.

Garrett did struggle in his last five games of 2019, and while some may not see it yet, that’s a pause for concern. It may have been strictly due to the double teams that he’d be met with due to Vernon’s injuries and lack of production. So if Clowney comes in, fully motivated on that one-year deal, maybe Clowney can take the pressure off of Garrett and Garrett can fully ascend to the heights so many say he can reach.

Beyond that, Clowney has always been a streaky player. Letting him play one year in Cleveland before moving on to a new team is a good call. There’s no promise Clowney gets that new deal and ever plays as well again. The Browns would not want to be underfoot to a $20 million-plus contract for three years.

The Browns can ride Clowney’s hypothetical career year, and then let him and Vernon go in free agency and have $30 million to play with to either draft a new defensive end, or find a younger/better end either via trade or in the free-agent market.

That way they can continue to get younger and better at the same time, without tying up all their money in a potential one-year wonder.

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