The Cleveland Browns have had an excellent free agency so far. In only his first year, general manager Andrew Berry has given Baker Mayfield another target in Austin Hooper, signed one of the best tackles in the league in Jack Conklin and given the defense a complete makeover.
It's hard to complain about what Berry done so far, but with room for another huge signing, they need to bring aboard a star edge rusher to boost their defense from being effective to one of the best in the NFL. In this year's free agency, there's no bigger star than Jadeveon Clowney.
Clowney is a three-time Pro-Bowler who struggled in 2019 with the Seahawks. He only recorded 31 tackles and three sacks, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that he's been otherwise stellar in the rest of his healthy time in the league. In both of the two seasons before his transition to Seattle, he had over nine sacks and 47 tackles. At only 27 years old, he shouldn't be undervalued because of one poor season in a new system.
The main reason Clowney hasn't been signed so far are his high contract demands. For Cleveland, there's no reason this should be an issue. They have over $43 million in cap space. They can afford to drop big money on a risky player.
With that said, it's not unreasonable to say that 2019 was an aberration for Clowney. The man put up great numbers for most of his time with Houston. He was a big-money player before landing in Seattle, and he can still be a Pro Bowler after Seattle.
There are rumors the Browns want to trade Olivier Vernon, which would open a spot for Clowney opposite Myles Garrett. Chad Thomas looks like a promising player who could rotate into that group. Pass rush is critical in the NFL and the Browns have a chance to make theirs among the best if they sign Clowney.