Several Ravens defenders made themselves a lot of money this offseason with career years. Jadeveon Clowney just happened to get a nice chunk of change in one fell swoop.
With a sack during Saturday night's game against the Steelers, Clowney reached 9.5 sacks, which he confirmed triggered a $750,000 contract bonus. The sack tied his career high from 2017.
Clowney didn't realize that he was credited with the sack originally because Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph tried to dump off a pass just before getting hit. When it was ruled a fumble, that gave Clowney the sack.
"I didn't know I had a sack and then they told me," Clowney said. "I was like, 'Oh yeah,' and you just start turning it up right now. I had a good time on that."
Clowney's teammates got in on the dance too, knowing the 30-year-old veteran was chasing it and has earned it with a very strong season. Clowney has narrowly missed a lot more sacks this season, so they were happy to see him get it.
"He's been talking about that [incentive] for the past two weeks," nose tackle Michael Pierce said with a laugh. "That was a very long celebration. That might have been a record for longest celebration."
"Finally, finally. That's the stuff that you want to see," linebacker Patrick Queen said. "I was getting on him like, 'Bro, just finish it, just finish it, just finish it. You can dance – just finish.' He was getting down on himself, but he still knew that he had a chance. I'm just happy for the guy, honestly."
Clowney has had a resurgent season and checked off his preseason goal of playing in all 17 games. Finally healthy for a full year, the former No. 1-overall pick showed he still has a lot left.
Kyle Van Noy also got a sack Saturday, raising his career high to nine. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Justin Madubuike led the team with a career-best 13 sacks, but the two 30+-year-old veterans finished the regular season nipping at his heels.
"We wouldn't be where we're at without [Clowney and Van Noy]," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
"We knew they were great players, [but] you don't exactly how it's going to go for sure. But talking to both of those guys when we signed them, they said the right things, and I would say that they followed through with everything they said they wanted to do and more."