A year ago, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney spurned the Cleveland Browns in free agency. Now he's changing his tune.
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On Tuesday, the Browns signed Clowney to a one-year contract.
Although the Browns were hoping to sign Clowney last offseason, the former No. 1 overall pick signed a one-year contract with the Tennessee Titans.
It was a season to forget for Clowney. Because of injuries, he played just eight games, accumulating 19 tackles, six quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.
See something missing in those stats? That's right, Clowney had zero sacks in those eight games. Suffice to say, it was a season that frustrated Titans coach Mike Vrabel.
Still, going onto his fourth team in as many years, Clowney remains intriguing.
Clowney has only played a full NFL season once in his career
Throughout his NFL career, Clowney has been as maddening as he has been intriguing.
That's thanks in large part to a hefty injury history that has prevented him from fulfilling the potential that made him the top pick in 2014.
That injury history has meant Clowney has played an entire NFL season just once in his career, that being in 2017 for Houston. That season Clowney had 59 tackles with 21 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
In his rookie season, Clowney played just four games. In 2015, it was 13 games and 14 in 2016. He also missed a game in 2018 and three in 2019.
In seven seasons, Clowney has 32 sacks and 86 quarterback hits. By comparison, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, another former first overall selection, has 42.5 sacks and 83 quarterback hits in just four seasons. Khalil Mack, a fellow 2014 draftee like Clowney, has 70.5 sacks and 129 quarterback hits in his career.
Clowney has bounced from the Texans to the Seahawks, Titans and now the Browns
When an NFL team takes a player with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, the idea is they'll play out their rookie contract and the team will give them a big-money deal. That's what the Browns are currently pondering with quarterback Baker Mayfield.
That was not the case for Clowney in Houston.
Instead of giving him a multi-year contract, the Texans put the franchise tag on Clowney. A few months later, the Texans traded Clowney to Seattle for a third-round pick, linebacker Jacob Martin and outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo. Remember him?
After the 2019 season, Clowney chose to not re-sign with Seattle and landed in Tennessee.
Clowney’s Outback Bowl tackle against Michigan was an instant meme
Although Clowney was a blue chip high school recruit out of South Pointe High School in South Carolina, he really burst onto the scene in 2013.
In the Outback Bowl against Michigan on New Year’s Day, Clowney set the Internet ablaze with vicious tackle on Wolverines running back Vincent Smith.
On the fourth quarter play, Michigan’s offensive line somehow didn’t pick up Clowney on a pressure, and he plowed into Smith. The running back’s helmet went one way, and the ball went the other as Clowney recovered the fumble he caused.
The play became an instant meme.
“Clowney just burst through and ripped the helmet off the tailback and took it away. He took it away! Don’t do us like that! Don’t do us,” South Carolina’s radio broadcaster said. “Clowney just took it over.”
South Carolina wound up beating Michigan 33-28, but it was Clowney’s hit that has been immortalized in college football.
The play remains Clowney's biggest highlight as a football player. Whether or not that's good or bad is for you to judge.
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This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Jadeveon Clowney's crazy hit against Michigan is his career highlight: 3 things to know about the Browns pass rusher