The AFC North got a lot more difficult for Cleveland Browns opponents as they add a new piece to their defensive line.
On Wednesday, the Browns signed former number one overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, according to NFL Network. Clowney, according to ESPN, had visited Cleveland last month but left without a deal. This time, the Browns were able to come to terms with the former Tennessee Titans defender despite interest from the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens.
Clowney, who first entered the league in 2014, has only one full 16 game season, as he’s missed a total of 29 games over the course of his seven-year career. However, Clowney has flashed how dominant he can be, earning three straight Pro Bowl appearances from 2016-2018.
After being drafted in Houston, Clowney spent the first five years of his career as a member of the Texans, registering 205 tackles and 29 sacks through his time in Houston.
The Browns will become the fourth team in four years Clowney has played on, spending his last season in Houston in 2018 before being traded to Seattle (2019) and signing as a free agent in Tennessee (2020). Clowney has amassed three sacks and 50 total tackles through the last two seasons prior to signing with Cleveland.
The addition of Clowney to a Browns defense that already features Myles Garrett will only strengthen the belief in Cleveland to win the AFC North division in 2021, a feat the Browns haven’t accomplished since winning the AFC Central division in 1989.
The move will also free up another draft need for Cleveland, who currently sit with pick number 26 in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Browns were heavily favored to add another pass-rushing threat to their front seven, as AllSteelers’ Donnie Druin pegged Cleveland to add Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari in his first mock draft.