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Former No 1st overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney is back in Cleveland for another season as he hopes to hoist the Lombardi Trophy come February.
Clowney, who officially re-signed with the Browns last week on a one-year deal, says his belief that Cleveland could win its first Super Bowlhelped influence his decision to come back.
“I just want to chase that Super Bowl,” Clowney said on the Browns’ Best Podcast Available. “We had a great defense last year. We went out and got some more key players on offense and defense, and I feel like we’ve got a shot.”
“I know what I’m dealing with, and I know who I got. I know what we can do together,” he added. “I’m just hoping we can take that step forward and get where we need to get this season.”
His comments come as Cleveland hasn’t been exactly the ideal situation for people looking to win an NFL title.
The Browns have made it to the playoffs twice since 2002, though their roster this season has playoff potential, depending on how the situation with Deshaun Watson plays out. The team last made the playoffs following the 2020 season with Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback.
Clowney had one of the more productive seasons of his career in 2021, as he finished with 19 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, and nine sacks, two of which he got in the regular-season finale.
The Browns ended the season with an 8-9 record and Clowney got those stats while playing opposite All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett, another former No. 1st overall draft pick in the NFL.
“We’ve become real good guys and close to each other because we play together,” Clowney said of Garrett in January, via the team’s website. “I pick his brain, and he picks mine. We feed off each other out there. It’s a good thing to have someone on the other end that you don’t worry about. You’re just like, ‘Hey, I will meet you there [at the quarterback]”
Last season was Clowney’s best in terms of availability and production since his final campaign with the Houston Texans in 2018. The three-time Pro Bowler started 14 games last season, the most since 2018 when he totaled nine sacks.
Clowney first joined the Browns last April when he signed a one-year deal worth up to $10 million with incentives.
“We love his relentless style of play,” Browns’ general manager Andrew Berry at the time. “He’s one of the more disruptive players in the game, and we think he’s going to add an element of ruggedness along our defensive line and will pair nicely with many of the guys we have on the roster already.”
Despite having a career renaissance last season, Clowney hasn’t exactly lived up to his reputation of being selected first overall, and he has dealt with numerous injuries.
In 2020, Clowney played in just eight games for the Tennessee Titans. He finished without a sack before undergoing knee surgery.
After the Texans made Clowney their top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, he would go on to play five seasons in Houston, earning 29.0 sacks and 67 quarterback hits.
He later played one season with the Seattle Seahawks before his brief stint with the Titans.