Jadeveon Clowney has been linked to the Cleveland Browns for more than a year, with the pass rusher reportedly turning down a lucrative offer from the AFC North contenders in 2020 free agency. Later this week, he's finally expected to join the team. Cleveland is set to host the veteran free agent, one of the biggest names still unsigned this offseason, for the second time in two months on Wednesday, per NFL Network. And all expectations are that both sides will strike a deal to put Clowney in a Browns uniform for 2021, according to CBS Sports senior reporter Jonathan Jones.
Clowney, who played for the Titans in 2020, left his last visit with the Browns at the end of March without a contract. But with the 2021 draft drawing near, the former Pro Bowler is on track to secure a new home -- his fourth in as many seasons. Cleveland, meanwhile, is set to make its splashiest addition yet at defensive end, which was widely considered a top priority for the team in the draft. The Browns signed former Falcons first-rounder Takkarist McKinley earlier in free agency, although he projects as more of a rotational pass rusher opposite All-Pro Myles Garrett.
The No. 1 overall pick back in 2014, Clowney has had a quiet free agent market in back-to-back years, likely in part due to injuries. The former Texans standout hasn't played a full season since 2017, when he logged a career-high 9.5 sacks, missing three games with the Seahawks in 2019 due to a sports hernia; then missing half of 2020 in Tennessee because of a knee issue. When healthy, Clowney has often made up for unspectacular sack numbers with imposing size and physicality, especially against the run.
In Cleveland, he'd likely start opposite Garrett and alongside new defensive tackle Malik Jackson, replacing fellow free agent Olivier Vernon.