Jadeveon Clowney’s contract with the Cleveland Browns is just about perfect

Browns Clowney (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Browns Clowney (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns are bringing back Jadeveon Clowney for one more year.

The Cleveland Browns have brought back Jadeveon Clowney for one more year and more than likely the last year. The Browns are bringing back Clowney on a one-year deal, worth $11 million. This is just slightly more than he made last year with the Browns. He did have a good year with Cleveland, putting up 9.5 sacks, and getting selected as an alternate to the Pro Bowl, but he did decline in the second half of the season.

Clowney is mostly being brought in for his run-stopping abilities. Yet on a defensive line with no relevant defensive tackles to mention, he’ll be asked to do more than he has in previous years. Not only that but the likelihood of him struggling, or appearing to struggle, on this year’s unit is likely. The defensive line is a unit as much as the offensive one is, and if one or two players struggle, the entire line will look like they’re struggling. So don’t expect Clowney or even Myles Garrett to excel much this year unless a young defensive tackle on this team can step up.

That said, this move was the right one, as there was no comparable defensive tackle in free agency that the Browns could’ve signed to help fill in at the position. So if there’s no defensive tackle worth spending $11 million on, you find a defensive end who can stop the run. At least that’s the scenario the Browns found themselves in.

Jadeveon Clowney’s deal with the Cleveland Browns is about perfect all things considered

Clowney was a fine asset for the Browns but he wasn’t worth $10 million last year, or $11 million this year. That said, it’s not like the Browns get credit rolled over to next year’s salary cap if they don’t spend money this year. There is no rebate. The cap will remain what it is, regardless of what money is spent in 2022. The deal comes off the books after this year, so there’s no reason to worry about how much Clowney cost this year.

The money they’re paying Clowney may handcuff them a tad later on in the off-season if there are surprise cuts around June 1 or during the preseason, but you can’t assume an asset. There is no guarantee that a top defensive tackle will be let go after June 1 or as a preseason cut, so instead of waiting and missing out on Clowney, you go after the asset you know is available.

So no, the money isn’t great but it’s at least being spent on a player the team needs.

That and the Browns aren’t locked into Clowney for more than one year. That means if Clowney does fall off this season, the Browns aren’t handcuffed to him for longer than they need to be. With the Browns getting ready to pay Deshaun “I make women cry” Watson $40+ million per year starting next year, the Browns really can’t keep deferring money or getting locked into massive deals.

The Browns have dead money on Austin Hooper over the next two seasons they have to pay on, and Amari Cooper three years down the road. That type of money management works today, but that’s money they won’t have over the next five years.

So every dollar they can preserve for the future needs to be just that. The Browns can’t afford to lock themselves into long deals with near 30-year-old, injury-plagued athletes.

The Browns now only have $14ish million under the cap for the rest of the year, assuming they don’t trade Baker Mayfield, and it’s likely they’ll have to eat a lot on his deal in any trade. So there isn’t going to be a lot of wiggle room this year beyond that signing.

They may be able to do some cheaper, first-year, type contracts but this should largely be seen as it for big-time contracts to big-time talents for the season.

Next. 5 potential players who could be surprisingly cut by the Cleveland Browns. dark