The Cleveland Browns have shown interest in free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, ESPN reported on Saturday.
Per the report, some around the league believe the Browns had been closer to a deal than other suitors for Clowney, who has not gotten the offers he has hoped for from other teams or the Seattle Seahawks, who he played for in 2019.
Clowney, 27, was reportedly seeking more than $20 million annually when he hit free agency in mid-March, but his market has developed slowly. One factor could be his injury history — which includes microfracture surgery on his knee and core muscle surgery after the 2019 season — and the inability for teams to give players a physical in person during the coronavirus outbreak.
An ESPN report earlier this week said Clowney has dropped his asking price to $17-18 million annually, with the Tennessee Titans showing interest and the Seahawks still hoping to re-sign him.
While not all salaries for free agent signings have been reported, the Browns have the most cap space in the NFL currently, per Spotrac’s projections, at $43.6 million.
They added defensive end Adrian Clayborn on a two-year, $5.8 million deal, and they also have Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon at the position. Vernon, however, could be released for a $15.5 million cap savings at any time.
Clowney tallied 31 tackles, three sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception in 13 games (11 starts) in his first season with Seattle in 2019. The Seahawks acquired Clowney prior to last season in a trade with the Houston Texans.
The top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney has 236 tackles, 32 sacks and nine forced fumbles in 75 career games (66 starts) with the Texans (2014-18) and Seahawks.
–Field Level Media