The Cleveland Browns and Super Bowl don’t exactly go together. For a franchise that made its first playoff appearance in 18 years in 2020 but failed to reach lofty expectations in 2021, a Super Bowl appearance sounds farfetched.
But don’t tell star edge rusher and 2014 No. 1 overall pick JaDeveon Clowney that the Browns aren’t a contender. The former South Carolina Gamecocks star is happy to be back on the shores of Lake Erie, and he has a Super Sunday trip in his sights.
In a recent interview on the “Best Podcast Available,” Clowney talked about the upcoming season.
“I just want to chase that Super Bowl,” the star edge rusher said. “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.”
The three-time Pro Bowl defensive end spent the bulk of this offseason as a free agent before re-signing with the Browns on another one-year prove it deal.
“It’s a much better feeling. You’re just always excited. I’m excited to be around them. I know what I’m dealing with and I know who I got, I know what we can do together. I’m just hoping we can take that step forward and get where we need to get this season.”
The #Browns are adding a post-draft difference-maker, re-signing pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney, per me and @TomPelissero. The two sides have agreed to terms. After 9 sacks last year, Clowney runs it back in Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/nRMs3zk6Qq
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 22, 2022
Deshaun Watson Trade Played Role In Clowney Returning To Cleveland
The Browns shocked everyone when they decided to trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson and sign him to the biggest guaranteed contract in NFL history (five years, $230 million). The move signaled the end of their relationship with 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. But it also was the linchpin to keeping Clowney for another season, keeping Cleveland’s dynamic duo of edge rushers in place. Clowney and All-Pro/DPOY candidate Myles “Flash” Garrett will continue to terrorize offenses.
Clowney and Watson were teammates in Houston from 2017-18 and became really close. Clowney had a front row eat to witness the magic Watson is capable of.
“You know that’s my boy, Deshaun Watson,” Clowney said. “And I was happy about him coming here. I told if he come here, I was gonna follow him. So when he came here, I told him, hey, you know you already got yourself another Cleveland Brown up there right now. I already know what he can bring to the team. I played with him. Great player to have on your team and great leader. He can make them plays out there on the field and I’m just looking forward to seeing what he can do.”
Browns Have Talent On Both Sides Of The Ball
Watson is a huge upgrade over Mayfield, but he’ll probably have to wait to play with his legal situation still in limbo. As for the other pieces on the Browns roster, they’re in place to make a serious run as they boast the best running back duo in the league in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. They re-signed tight end David Njoku.
They also traded for Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper, giving them a true No. 1 receiver to complement their dominant run game and Watson’s strong arm.
— NFL (@NFL) March 12, 2022
On defense, cornerback Denzel Ward is lethal. Clowney is the centerpiece — nine sacks, 37 tackles, and two forced fumbles last season — and takes a ton of pressure and attention off Garrett.
The Browns have all the ingredients to make it to Super Sunday, but Watson’s up-in-the-air status is that gray cloud hanging over the franchise.