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2021 NFL Free Agency: Jadeveon Clowney Signs With Cleveland Browns

Four teams in four years.

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

In 2013, the Texans lost fourteen games in a row. A lot of bad things happened for that to occur. Matt Schaub was booed while he rolled in pain against St. Louis, only for T.J. Yates to come in and throw a pick-six of his own to Alec Ogletree. Arian Foster and Brian Cushing were lost for the year against Kansas City, a day after fringe roster players were caught smoking in the boy’s room the night before. Gary Kubiak collapsed at halftime on national television, and the Colts came back to beat Houston anyways. Schaub and Andre Johnson fought along the sideline after losing to Matt McGloin...the same McGloin coached by Bill O’Brien at Penn State.

Yet there was hope. Because after losing to Cecil Shorts III and Jacksonville on Thursday Night Football, the Texans clinched drafting whichever quarterback they wanted or the generational talent, Jadeveon Clowney.

The Texans selected Clowney first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. He went from injured, to showing flashes of supreme talent, to a great football player who didn’t dominate the box score. On the edge or roving around the interior, Clowney was one of the best run defenders in the league. In the passing game, he created pressures and quarterback hits but could never find those mystical sacks.

Clowney, like DeAndre Hopkins and Brandon Brooks, didn’t mesh with Bill O’Brien’s culture. The reports were that he worked out on his own in the summertime. Practice was practice, something he ignored to save his body for gameday. Houston, because of his injury history and because of his approach to the game, opted not to franchise tag and keep him or offer him a long-term deal. Instead they turned him into Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo, and a third round pick that became Gareon Conley, after failing to trade him to Miami as part of a Laremy Tunsil trade.

Clowney was incredible in Seattle even if he didn’t have the sack totals NFL teams lust for. Despite that performance, he once again didn’t get the long-term contract he longed for. Last offseason, he signed a one-year deal with Tennessee deep into the summer. Clowney showed up skinny, out of shape, gasping and huffing. He was disappointing. The Titans needed him to elevate their front seven. He didn’t. Meniscus surgery pushed Clowney to Injured Reserve for the rest of the season.

That meant Clowney was a free agent again this offseason. The only team who really pursued him and brought him in for a visit was the Cleveland Browns, the same team who brought him in last year, but sat in the rain when Clowney signed with Tennessee. This year the Browns got their revenge. Clowney signed a one-year contract worth up to $10 million to play in Cleveland.

Clowney will be paired with Sheldon Richardson, Malik Jackson, and NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett as a replacement for Olivier Vernon. Hopefully Jadeveon Clowney will be in shape. Maybe the sack totals will match his performance.

Football is better when Clowney is at his best, regardless of where you assign your allegiance.