CLEVELAND — As the Browns look to make roster changes following a disappointing 8-9 campaign, one of their priorities this offseason was to shore up the defensive line, both through adding some new faces and potentially retaining an old one.
It appears they have accomplished the latter.
According to multiple media reports, the Browns have agreed to terms with free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on a new deal that will see him stay with the team. Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot (who is also a 3News contributor) was the first to break the story, adding the contract is for one year and could be worth up to $11 million with incentives included.
A former No. 1 overall draft pick in 2014, Clowney has 41 career sacks over eight NFL seasons and made three Pro Bowls during his time with the Houston Texans. Following brief and less successful stints with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans, he agreed to a one-year "prove it" deal with Cleveland in 2021 and returned to form with nine sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles despite missing three games.
Clowney was a key member on an improved defense, but some wondered if the Browns would be reluctant to bring back the 29-year-old due to potential financial constraints. However, interest on both sides has apparently grown in recent months, particularly after the club acquired quarterback and former Clowney teammate Deshaun Watson from Houston.
Bringing Clowney back also helps fill a pressing need, as the defensive line is seen as a point of weakness (outside of Myles Garrett) and tackle Malik McDowell's career is in jeopardy following his arrest outside a Florida school. To add depth, Cleveland signed Taven Bryan and Chase Winovich in free agency and drafted players like Alex Wright and Perrion Winfrey.
Should the details of Clowney's 2022 salary be accurate, it appears he could be getting a raise from his 2021 base value of $8 million. Exact terms of the contract have not been disclosed.