Joe Woods sees Jadeveon Clowney reports; leaving it up to EVP/GM Andrew Berry

Browns DC tries to stay in his lane, appreciates Clowney’s ability

Daryl Ruiter
May 28, 2020 - 11:43 am

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Joe Woods has seen and heard the reports and rumors concerning Jadeveon Clowney and the Browns.

Cleveland’s new defensive coordinator did his best to remain in his lane when asked about the possibility Thursday during a Zoom call with reporters.

“Obviously, he’s been a really good player in this league,” Woods said. “A great pass rusher when he was in Houston and Seattle, just really affects the game. But, to be honest with you, that’s really a question you’ve got to ask Andrew [Berry].”

The chatter this offseason with Clowney, who remains a free agent and is 27, has been impossible to avoid, even for Woods.

“I read the articles too,” Woods said. “I see him with us, Tennessee, Seattle, all these teams. But really right now all I’m really focused on is coaching the guys we have.”

Last year with Seattle, Clowney had 31 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks, 13 QB hits, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, three pass break ups and an interception he returned for a touchdown in 13 games – 11 of them starts.

In his six-year career, Clowney has racked up 32.0 sacks, 80 QB hits, 71 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles and fumble recoveries in 75 games.

Should the Browns sign Clowney they would have to release Olivier Vernon, who is in the final year of his contract that will pay him more than $15 million.

Woods had nothing but positive things to say about Vernon, who has had perfect attendance during the team’s virtual offseason and has been taking on a leadership role.

“He is ready to go,” Woods said. “I just think for him, he really wants to come back this year and play healthy and just show everybody what he is capable of doing. So far, he has been great.”

Woods also sidestepped a question about the availability of another big-name free agent – linebacker Clay Matthews III.

“I think the whole mindset philosophy of our organizations, that there is any player out there that we feel like can help us, then we will definitely look into it,” Woods said. “But honestly, that would be a better question for Andrew Berry. Because once you start the process of looking at somebody, he will definitely let us know as a defensive staff, let me know and then that way we can look at him and make a decision if we want to move forward. But right now, that would really a question for Andrew.”

Matthews, an 11-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowler, is 34. He was released by the Rams earlier this offseason.