CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns remain in active pursuit of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Monday. The free agent visited the team last month and could do so again.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
It’s unclear if the sides are negotiating a contract. ESPN, citing unidentified sources, said the sides are “progressing in talks.”
The Browns offered Clowney a multiyear contract last year before he signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Tennessee Titans. Clowney did not have a sack in eight games before undergoing season-ending knee surgery.
If he comes to Cleveland, the 28-year-old Clowney would pair with All-Pro defensive end Myles Garret and give the Browns two of the NFL’s best edge rushers on the same line.
The Browns ended their long playoff drought last season and have Super Bowl aspirations. They have been in the market to upgrade their defensive end spot after Olivier Vernon ruptured an Achilles tendon in the regular-season finale and wasn’t re-signed.
Cleveland’s draft plans could be affected if the team signs Clowney. The Browns have the No. 26 overall pick and will likely add another defensive piece after addressing the unit during free agency with several signings.
The Browns showed some interest in star end J.J. Watt before he signed with Arizona.
Clowney’s asking price could be the only impediment to him coming to Cleveland. The Browns won’t invest too heavily in him after already committing $125 million over five years to Garrett.
Clowney was the No. 1 overall pick by Houston in 2014 and has dealt with assorted injuries. He spent five seasons with the Texans, recording 29 sacks and making the Pro Bowl three times. He played one season in Seattle before going to Tennessee.