Jadeveon Clowney sent home by Browns and won’t practice today, league source says; likely won’t face Steelers Sunday
BEREA, Ohio — Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was sent home by the Browns on Friday and will not practice with the team following remarks he made to cleveland.com on Thursday in a one-on-one interview.
He is questionable for Sunday’s season finale in Pittsburgh and will likely be suspended for the game.
Kevin Stefanski will address the media after practice around 12:30 p.m. Defensive line coach Chris Kiffin, who was previously scheduled to meet the media around 10:15 a.m., will speak after Stefanski.
Clowney told cleveland.com that he was unhappy with how he has been used this season, particularly feeling that he has been taken out of favorable matchups with offensive linemen, which has prevented him from generating snaps and pressures.
“95% sure I’m not coming back,” he said. “But there is still 5%. You never know what can happen.”
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Clowney, who missed four of 16 games this season with an ankle injury and concussion, played on his second straight one-year deal that deal — this one worth $10 million — will be an agent of free in March.
“I just feel like I need to be around somebody who believes in me and my ability,” said Clowney, who will turn 30 on Feb. 14. “(I can’t) only believe in myself. I believe in myself more than anyone.”
Clowney, who has just 2.0 sacks this season compared to 9.0 last season, said Thursday he won’t close the door on returning next season because of a possible personnel change. But the events of the past two days are likely to seal his fate.
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods has been the hot center this season and may or may not be back. The defense has played much better the second half of the season, but Woods will continue to be under scrutiny in the postseason for the unit’s second straight slow start.
At this point, it could go either way. But Clowney is now likely at the point of no return.
“There’s supposed to be a lot of changes here next year, so they might not come back — and I might,” Clowney said.
The main reason for his displeasure — which has lasted all season — is that he feels the Browns have taken him out of favorable matchups at various points throughout the season, and put Myles Garrett at a smaller offensive lineman in instead to display their stellar defensive end.
Garrett, who has 15 sacks this season, is 2.5 shy of Nick Bosa’s 17.5, is targeting the sack title and is still in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
“You’re all trying to get somebody into the Hall of Fame when all that matters is winning,” Clowney said. “Everyone came here for a reason and we can all make games. I know I am.”
Clowney made it clear he has no beef with Garrett, who is a good friend and a great complement when they’re on the court together. Last season, Garrett set a club record with 16.0 sacks, while Clowney had nine of his own, tied for second-most in his career. Garrett even called the two “the best passing duo in the NFL.” Garrett, who addressed the media regularly on Friday and should be available after practice, also lobbied hard for the Browns to re-sign Clowney in the offseason.
“I don’t even think (Garrett) notices,” Clowney said of the position switches. “I’m not trying to say it’s him. I try to get along with everyone I play with. He and I have no problem. It’s not his fault. It’s just BS, and I don’t have time for it.”
He said the Browns “have their guys, and I’m not one of them, so it’s time for me to get my exit slip.”
Clowney said things came to a head during the 13-3 win over the Ravens when he found out before the game that they were bumping Garrett.
“We trained all week and we go into the game and they want to move me,” he said. “I’m not doing this (sh-). I am old. I did my job.”
He opted to only play third downs that game because of the shift, finishing with just 22 snaps for 35%. Defensive tackles Taven Bryan started in his place and Chase Winovich played 23 snaps for 37%. Clowney finished with one assist that game.
“I don’t have time for that,” he said. “I made my money. I’m doing it because I love the game, but keep (doing things like that) and it makes me not love the game.”
He said he understands the Browns want Garrett, their No. 1 pick. 1 overall in 2017, to shine, but that has enough to go for both.
“Let’s say it. Let’s be honest,” he said. (It seems to me) they don’t want me to beat anybody.”
He said he could have “easily” got 10 sacks this season if things had been different and “I’ll be right back there next year. I feel better this year than last year at this point.”
The Texans’ No. 1 overall pick in 2014, Clowney said he can be here like he was with JJ Watt in Houston, where Clowney had a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2017 and 9.0 in 2018.
“I played with JJ Watt, I was 20 at the time, 21, and it was good for him to decide where I was going to line up and (things),” he said. “He had already been the defensive player of the year twice. It was cute. I made three Pro Bowls when I was there.”
Clowney said he started to get frustrated early in the season “and look how my season started after that. I started to worry about (things) I shouldn’t worry about. I just need to get back to doing my thing.”
Clowney said it’s unfortunate because he wants to play with Deshaun Watson, his former Texans teammate, “I want to play with him. This is my son. but I need to go somewhere where someone believes in me.”
He said he plans to discuss the matter with Browns GM Andrew Berry at his exit meeting and thinks Berry believes in him.
“I’ll be ready next year to get (after him again),” he said.
If things don’t work out with the Browns, they could see him a few times a year.
“I can still finish in the division next year,” he said.