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Browns On Cusp Of Signing Former Pro-Bowl Edge Rusher:...
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Browns On Cusp Of Signing Former Pro-Bowl Edge Rusher: Report

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Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns

Getty Head coach Kevin Stefanski of the Cleveland Browns looks on prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns are rounding out their roster but there remains a noticeable gap on one side of the defensive line.

Cleveland has more than $24 million left in cap space for the 2022 season and will presumably use a significant chunk of that change to add an edge rusher alongside All-Pro and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett. If the Browns had their way, they would have already added that piece by re-signing defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who racked up nine sacks opposite Garrett last season.

Cleveland offered Clowney a two-year deal worth $24 million this offseason after he played on a one-year prove-it contract for $8 million in 2021. As of yet, however, the pass rusher has not committed. As a failsafe, the Browns selected Alex Wright in the third round of last month’s NFL Draft.

However, with a weak front outside of Garrett, the team is likely to prioritize the defensive line as the offseason continues. Their number one priority remains inking Clowney to a multiyear contract, a deal that one Browns insider says could be finalized shortly.

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Browns Close to Deal With Clowney, Per Insider Report

Jadeveon ClowneyJadeveon Clowney

Getty ImagesDefensive end Jadeveon Clowney of the Cleveland Browns tackles QB Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter of a game at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported on Sunday, May 8, that while the Browns have moved on from the idea of a reunion with wide receiver Jarvis Landry, they may be closing in on one with Clowney.

While Landry is all but gone, Clowney could be back in the fold soon. The selection of Alex Wright out of UAB at No. 78 in the third round doesn’t preclude the re-signing of Clowney — although it makes it a little less urgent. The Browns are excited about Wright and believe he has some of the best upside potential of their nine picks.

He’ll likely start out in the rotation, and could challenge for the starting job. But if the Browns can find the right price, Clowney will be back opposite Garrett, with Wright, Chase Winovich and others rolling in.

The fact that Garrett wants Clowney back helps his case, but isn’t a determining factor. If they can’t come to terms, the Browns will continue to consider free agent Jerry Hughes, formerly of the [Buffalo] Bills.


Garrett Recruiting Clowney For Return to Cleveland

Jadeveon ClowneyJadeveon Clowney

GettyEdge rusher Jadeveon Clowney of the Cleveland Browns waves to fans before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 7, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

As Cabot noted, Garrett has been a proponent of Clowney’s return to Cleveland next season, and he has not been shy about making those feelings public.

Garrett took to Twitter on April 22 and posted a photo of himself and Clowney celebrating on the field together following a play. The caption on the photo said: “Job not finished.”

Shortly after, Clowney took to Instagram where re-posted a side-by-side photo of himself and Garrett, each of them displaying their jerseys on draft day as overall No. 1 picks. The caption noted that they are the only two defensive players to be picked first overall in the last 15 years.

Clowney’s response was thought possibly to be an indicator that he was on the brink of signing a deal to come back to Cleveland, though 17 days later the defensive end remains a free agent. However, if Cabot is correct, the two-headed quarterback attack of Garrett and Clowney, which amassed a total of 25 sacks between them last year, will be back with the Browns for at least a couple of seasons to come.

Source: Heavy

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