The Browns have had a very successful offseason so far. With their NFL Draft being universally praised and multiple great Free Agents added, GM Andrew Berry has impressed everyone around the league. And the beauty of it is, he may not be done yet.
Everyone has been wondering for weeks now where Free Agent star Jadeveon Clowney is going to sign. Several teams, the Browns included, have been linked to him, and it was reported that Cleveland got very close to making it official. Some fans may wonder, does he make sense to be on our roster? The short answer is yes, of course, he does. Let’s take a look at why he should rock those beautiful new uniforms this Fall.
Containing AFC North Quarterbacks and Running Backs
While his sack numbers might be not as high as you’d want from a number 1 overall pick, Clowney is still an elite run defender. And as we all know, the run is very prominent in our division. The Ravens are a run-heavy team with Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, and JK Dobbins. In addition to them, 250 miles south is Joe Burrow who is a pretty mobile QB as well. Oh, and they also have Joe Mixon. Big Ben in Pittsburgh isn’t as mobile as he once was, so putting pressure on him, in general, would help. Basically, having Clowney on the edge would help the Browns against the run in the AFC North (and in general) substantially.
The Amount of Double Teams
Regardless of what your opinion of Clowney is from the couch at home, the guy relentlessly gets double teamed on the defensive line every week. While Olivier Vernon is a good run defender too, he doesn’t draw the double teams like Clowney does. Having him on the same line with Myles Garrett, who gets double teamed constantly as well, would make it incredibly difficult for defensive coordinators to plan each week. That is the type of stuff that would keep them up at night. With both Clowney and Garrett on the same team, someone would always have a good chance to get to the quarterback every single down.
He can be signed without spending a lot of money
We have Olivier Vernon, but he is far more injury-prone than Clowney at this point in his career, plus his $15 million a year salary is far too steep. Clowney could be signed for between $14-$20 million right now. It just makes a lot of sense to essentially swap them and still maintain a lot of money for future core signings (Baker, Garrett, Chubb). Clowney has injury concerns as well, but Vernon only gave us 10 games last year and is only missing more games each year in his career. If Andrew Berry can get Clowney for roughly the same price tag as they currently have for Vernon, then he should definitely make it happen.
There are rumors out there that Clowney might not sign with a team until Training Camp, so we may have to wait months to see what happens. With the Browns having the most cap space in the NFL ($37 million), one can imagine that it is very appealing to Clowney as well. He likely would only be on a one year deal, but sometimes one year is all you need to achieve greatness as a team. Time will tell!