The Baltimore Ravens have officially inked a deal with former top draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, a move that was disclosed on Friday. This agreement bolsters the team’s outside linebacker position with much-needed veteran expertise.
The contract, spanning a single year, initially stands at $2.5 million but holds the potential to escalate to $6 million, according to information shared by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh commented, “He’s a tenacious and hard-hitting player, known for his fearlessness on the field. We’ve faced him many times and have a solid grasp of his playing style. We’re genuinely enthusiastic about his arrival. I believe he’s somewhat underestimated as a pass rusher.”
Throughout this summer, Baltimore has displayed substantial interest in acquiring free-agent edge rushers. Prior to this acquisition, the Ravens had meetings with Kyle Van Noy and Dawuane Smoot.
Clowney, the first overall selection in the 2014 draft, was offered a contract during his visit to the Ravens on August 8th, but at that time, he left without finalizing any agreement. Following this, he paid a visit to the Jacksonville Jaguars on the subsequent Sunday.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Clowney boasts 43 career sacks, a figure that surpasses the combined sack count (28.5) of all the current Ravens’ outside linebackers.
Clowney conveyed his perspective to the Ravens’ official team website, stating, “The team’s mindset is all about winning. They communicate the desire to win and believe we can achieve it here. Looking at the talent surrounding us, I’m convinced I can contribute. The team holds great potential and I want to be a part of that journey.”
While the upcoming season is anticipated to rely heavily on young edge rushers Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo, there’s a shortage of established backup options for them. Due to Tyus Bowser’s extended recovery timeline from a knee injury (currently on the non-football injury list), Baltimore’s practice squad lacked an outside linebacker above the age of 25.
Justin Houston, who led the Ravens with 9.5 sacks in the previous season, recently signed a one-year contract worth $7 million with the Carolina Panthers. Baltimore reportedly exhibited a limited interest in retaining Houston.
Having celebrated his 30th birthday in February, Clowney spent the past two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, signing consecutive one-year contracts. He achieved nine sacks during his inaugural year in Cleveland in 2021, playing alongside All-Pro Myles Garrett. However, his performance waned in the subsequent year, recording just two sacks.
Towards the conclusion of that season, Clowney voiced his belief to Cleveland.com that he would likely not return to the Browns due to their apparent preference for Garrett. This was a sentiment he later apologized for.
Clowney’s journey also had some rocky moments with the Browns. He was sent home before the last regular-season practice and was sidelined for Cleveland’s final game due to critical comments he had made about the team. In addition, he had refused to play in specific situations in a prior game.
Multiple sources have confirmed Clowney’s agreement with the Ravens, following his recent interactions with the team. His association with the Jaguars ultimately did not materialize into a contract.
Having spent the last two seasons with the Browns, Clowney saw his tenure come to an end after making negative remarks about the team. Throughout his tenure in Cleveland, he amassed 65 tackles, recorded 11 sacks, forced three fumbles, and secured a fumble recovery. Clowney has also played for the Titans, Seahawks, and Texans since being selected as the first overall pick by the Texans in 2014.
The Ravens’ edge rusher lineup now features Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo, and Tyus Bowser. However, Bowser’s participation has been limited since being placed on the non-football injury list at the commencement of training camp.