Jadeveon Clowney '95% Sure' He Won't Return to Browns for 2023 Season

Doric SamJanuary 5, 2023

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 31: Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Cleveland Browns looks on during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 31, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Veteran defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is entering Sunday's regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers with the mindset that it is likely his final game in a Cleveland Browns uniform.

"95 percent sure I won't be back," Clowney told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com on Thursday. "But there's still that five percent. You never know what can happen."

Clowney added: "I just feel like I need to be around somebody that believes in me and my ability. [It can't] just be me believing in myself. I believe in myself more than anybody."

The 29-year-old revealed he feels like the Browns coaching staff has made it a point to switch him out of favorable matchups and give them to star pass-rusher Myles Garrett, whose 15 sacks are 2.5 shy of the league-lead held by San Francisco 49ers star Nick Bosa. It's no secret that Garrett has aspirations of winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and Clowney feels the team is focused on the wrong thing.

"You're all trying to get somebody into the Hall of Fame when all that matters is winning," Clowney said. "Everybody got here for a reason, and we can all make plays. I know I am."

The 2014 No. 1 overall pick indicated that he doesn't feel like he's valued by the team, saying the Browns have "got their own guys, and I ain't one of them, so it's time for me to get my exit slip."

After re-signing with Cleveland this offseason on a one-year, $10 million contract, Clowney missed four games this season because of an ankle injury and a concussion. His production has dipped significantly, as he's registered 28 total tackles and just two sacks in his 12 appearances after taking down opposing quarterbacks nine times in 14 games in 2021.

"Let's say it. Let's be honest. [It seems to me they don't want me to outplay nobody," he said, before adding he could've "easily" had 10 sacks this year.

Clowney left the door open to a potential return to Cleveland, saying that he intends to discuss the matter with general manager Andrew Berry in his exit meeting. However, if he doesn't feel like a part of the Browns' future, he didn't rule out signing with a division rival.

"I'll be ready next year to get [after it again]," he said. "I could still end up in the division next year."