As Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned, the Cleveland Browns continue to be the team most consistently linked to the free agent defensive end.
But while one NFL insider believes the Browns are the most likely team to land Clowney, another has insinuated that if the 3-time Pro Bowl selection was going to choose Cleveland, it would have happened already.
Appearing on 850 WKNR's The Next Level on Wednesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter discussed the Browns' pursuit of Clowney. In doing so, Schefter revealed that Cleveland has offered the 2014 No. 1 overall pick the most money of any team, but that for one reason or another, Clowney has yet to take the Browns up on their offer.
"They've been the most aggressive team with him financially," Schefter said, per ESPN's Jake Trotter. "He has balked at going to Cleveland for whatever reason. I think he's been hesitant to go because if he wasn't, he would've gone already because it's the most money. It's the richest offer on the table and he hasn't taken it. So why is that? I don't know. Is it not wanting to be in that city? Is that lack of belief in the organization?"
Schefter's comments stand in stark contrast with those made by Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, who said earlier this week that he thinks that Cleveland is Clowney's most likely landing spot.
"I still think it's the Browns, I really do," Robinson said on The Pat McAfee Show. "The Cleveland Browns are a team that has a ton of cap space. They have Olivier Vernon, who, if they cut Olivier Vernon tomorrow, it's a $15 million cap hold.
"There's another thing about Jadeveon Clowney too and I think the teams that look at him feel this way about him: you want to put him with a set of guys who can sort of be force multipliers," Robinson said. "So you’re sitting there at defensive end saying, ‘There’s Myles Garrett on one end, you put Jadeveon Clowney on the other. Something’s gonna happen here.’ One of these guys is gonna have to get doubled. It’s gonna change the matrix upfront for offensive teams."
In 13 games with the Seattle Seahawks last season, the 27-year-old Clowney posted 31 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and scored two touchdowns, one of which came on a fumble recovery and the other which came on an interception return.
Speaking to reporters last month, first-year Browns general manager Andrew Berry declined to discuss any specifics regarding his team's reported pursuit of Clowney.
“We’re actively always looking, whether it’s draft, free agency, trades, waiver wire, you name it, to add players to our roster,” Berry said. "Obviously Jadeveon, he’s a good football player. But for us, it really goes back to something I mentioned maybe a few months ago. Rest assured, across all opportunities to acquire players, we’re going to be aggressive in adding talent to the roster.
"And we’re going to make sure if there is an opportunity to upgrade the team and we think that it makes sense, we’re going to be proactive there.”