April 19, 2024

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The Panthers reach an agreement with pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney

The Panthers reach an agreement with pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney

Free agent Jadeveon Clowney has agreed to a contract with the Carolina Panthers, the team announced Wednesday.

Terms were not disclosed but sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Clowney has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract that could be worth up to $24 million.

For Clooney, this is a homecoming. He is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, about 25 minutes south of Charlotte where he starred at South Pointe High School. He also attended the University of South Carolina, about 90 minutes south of Charlotte.

Clowney was the top pick in the 2014 draft by the Houston Texans.

For the Panthers, this fills a huge need after they traded two-time Pro Bowl rusher Brian Burns to the New York Giants.

They signed DJ Wonnum and K'Lavon Chaisson during free agency, with Chaisson brought in more as a project and Wonnum the expected starter in exchange for Burns. But none of these players have proven they can pass as well as Clowney.

Along with the Panthers, Clowney has received interest from the New York Jets, with the team visiting last week.

Clowney, 31, got his career back on track last year, becoming one of the Baltimore Ravens' biggest surprises thanks to his pass rush and durability. He proved he can still impact games by getting to the quarterback with 9.5 sacks, which tied a career high. In an AFC Championship game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Clowney recorded a sack in helping Baltimore beat Patrick Mahomes in the second half.

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The Ravens signed Clowney to a one-year, $2.5 million contract last year on the final day of training camp because they needed deep pass-catching experience. He then earned $2.75 million in bonuses by eclipsing nine sacks and participating in more than 60% of Baltimore's snaps on defense. In an injury-plagued career, Clowney played 19 games for Baltimore last season (including the playoffs), only the second time he suited up for every game in a season.

Clowney was not heavily pursued in free agency last year due to a troubled exit from the Cleveland Browns in 2022. He was held out of the final game of the regular season after he was quoted as saying the Browns were more concerned about getting individual accolades for Miles. Garrett wins games. Clooney later said that these comments were never recorded.

Clowney is a three-time Pro Bowl player who has totaled 363 tackles, 52.5 sacks and 15 forced fumbles in 10 seasons. After spending his first five seasons with the Texans, he played for four teams in his final five seasons (Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Browns and Ravens).

ESPN's David Newton and Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.