Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, one of the top defensive free agents still available this offseason, has signed with the Browns.
Here are five things to know about Cleveland's big addition to the defensive line:
1. Clowney arrives in Cleveland after playing eight games with the Tennessee Titans last season. Despite not recording a sack, he was still one of the most impactful players on the defense and registered four pass deflections — his most in a season since 2015 — one forced fumble and six quarterback hits. Clowney was ranked by Pro Football Focus at No. 19 on their top edge rushers list and the fourth-best defensive end available at the start of free agency.
2. Clowney's prime years came from 2014-2018 with the Houston Texans, where he produced 29 sacks, 151 tackles, four forced fumbles and 11 pass deflections and thrived on the defensive line alongside perennial All-Pro J.J. Watt. The Texans traded Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks before the 2019 season, and he registered three sacks, four forced fumbles and two touchdowns — one from his first career interception, and another from a fumble recovery.
3. Clowney was drafted by the Texans with the first overall pick of 2014 after becoming one of the college football's best defensive players at South Carolina, where he recorded 24 sacks, 129 tackles and nine forced fumbles from 2011-2013. Clowney and Myles Garrett, his new teammate, are the only two defensive ends to be drafted No. 1 overall since Mario Williams in 2006. Together, they've combined to make five Pro Bowls while collecting 64 total sacks since 2017, when Garrett was drafted by the Browns.
Check out photos of Jadeveon Clowney
4. Clowney is an eight-year veteran but he's still just 28 years old. He spent the last two seasons with minimal time to prepare for a new team, too — both his 2019 trade to Seattle and 2020 signing with Tennessee were completed with less than two weeks until the regular season. 2021 will be Clowney's first complete offseason since 2018, when he recorded nine sacks, 47 tackles and was nominated to the Pro Bowl.
5. Clowney joins Takkarist McKinley, Porter Gustin, Curtis Weaver, Cameron Malveaux, Joe Jackson and Garrett as current Browns defensive ends. He is the sixth defensive free agent the Browns have signed this offseason. Several mock drafts have projected Cleveland to select an edge rusher at No. 26 overall, but now that Clowney has entered the room as a possible starter, the Browns could lean even heavier toward a "Best Player Available" approach, a luxury not many teams can afford in the first round.