Everyone can understand why Jadeveon Clowney might not want to go to Cleveland. The Browns? Why would he want to play for them?
After all, the Browns have been the NFL’s most dysfunctional franchise since the team’s return in 1999. Owner Jimmy Haslam has already hired and fired five different head coaches and four general managers since he bought the team in 2012. In fact, Haslam hired general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski this offseason.
As a result, Cleveland has often been the butt of many jokes and rightly so.
So, it should come as no surprise that Clowney balked at a free-agent offer from the Browns even though they offered him the most money, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on The Next Level. But Cleveland is arguably the best landing spot for the 27-year-old defensive end.
Yes, the Browns disappointed with a 6-10 record last season, and they play in the brutal AFC North, where the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers make life difficult. Cleveland hasn’t yet shown, despite all of the talent on its roster, that it should be a winning team this fall.
For some, the chance to contend is most important, but Clowney will be able to maximize his value in Cleveland, with Myles Garrett’s presence in the lineup being one of the biggest factors.
The 2017 No. 1 overall pick was in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation prior to his season-ending suspension for his role in a brawl during a game against the Steelers. Last year, he accumulated 10 sacks in 10 games. More importantly, the 24-year-old edge-rusher consistently applies pressure.
“He registered a pressure on 17.1 percent of dropbacks in 2019, which was the highest percentage posted by a player since the 2016 season,” NFL.com’s Nick Shook wrote. “He also became one of just three players to post a pressure rate of 12 percent or higher in each of the last three seasons. The other two: Aaron Donald and Von Miller.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Garrett ranked first among edge defenders with a 25.9 percent pass-rush win rate.