NFL free agency opened over two months ago, but Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned.
The first overall pick from the 2014 draft didn’t sign a new deal with the Seattle Seahawks, and though there has been significant interest in Clowney, he isn’t rushing on picking his next destination.
And it sounds like money will not be the biggest factor for the 27-year-old.
Appearing on 850 WKNR’s The Next Level (h/t Ben Axelrod of WKYC), ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Clowney rejected a major contract offer from the Cleveland Browns, who’ve presented the most lucrative deal thus far.
Schefter said the Browns have “been the most aggressive team with him financially.” But that hasn’t been enough to entice the three-time Pro Bowler, leaving Schefter to consider several reasons as to why Clowney won’t take the offer.
“He has balked at going to Cleveland for whatever reason,” Schefter said. “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?”
The Browns have been one of the busiest teams in the offseason, having hired Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski to replace John Dorsey and Freddie Kitchens as general manager and head coach, respectively.
Berry signed Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper and Tennessee Titans standout offensive lineman Jack Conklin in free agency, looking to bolster a group that allowed Baker Mayfield to take 40 sacks last season.
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The Browns defense is loaded with talent, including pass rushing star Myles Garrett (the No. 1 pick from the 2017 draft) and Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon. Many believe the latter will be released in a cap-saving move before the start of 2020. That will likely happen if Clowney ends up signing with Cleveland.
Clowney and Garrett would form quite the pass rushing duo, and they could change the landscape of an AFC North division that’s been dominated by the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers for the better part of the last two decades.
The Browns made the necessary moves to try and rebound following an extremely disappointing 2019 season. Adding Clowney would be another savvy move by Berry, if he can convince the standout linebacker to come to Cleveland.
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