After dealing with uncertainty around his future, star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney chose to re-sign with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year, $11 million deal.
Clowney’s decision keeps him in Cleveland to play with his former Houston Texans teammate Deshaun Watson, who he revealed played a huge factor in his return.
“I thought I played well here last year, and I feel like I can get better and pick off from what I did last year,” the defensive end said via ESPN. “Then my boy came here, Deshaun.”
Clowney played alongside Watson for two seasons before his departure after the 2018 campaign. His return helps keep a formidable pass rush for the Browns with him playing opposite of Myles Garrett, who is coming off a career-best 16.0 sacks.
Clowney put forth a strong 2021 campaign, where he notched 9.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and finished in the top four in pass rush win rate.
The Browns will likely not have Watson for a sizable chunk of the 2022 season. His legal issues have put the strong possibility that he will receive a lengthy suspension.
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Watson’s off-the-field struggles grew worse after a 24th lawsuit was filed against him. There is also a report that the NFL may consider suspending him for the entire 2022 season.
The Browns went all-in to acquire Watson that was highlighted by giving him the biggest contract in NFL history. All Cleveland can do is wait for the league to levy its final ruling in the coming weeks.