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Ravens Sign Jadeveon Clowney to 1-Year Deal

OLB Jadeveon Clowney
OLB Jadeveon Clowney

The Ravens have signed outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal, bolstering their pass rush with a proven big-time veteran.

According to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec, it's a $2.5 million deal with incentives that give it a max value of $6 million.

The Ravens have been looking to augment their outside linebacker group currently led by youngsters Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo, and veteran Tyus Bowser, who is dealing with a knee injury.

Clowney visited the Ravens 10 days ago, then followed with a free-agent trip to the Jacksonville Jaguars before making his decision.

"I feel great. I've been watching this organization for a long time and I'm a big fan of a lot of guys that play here and I'm just glad to be a part of it," Clowney said.

Clowney, 30, is the former No. 1-overall pick in the 2014 draft and a three-time Pro Bowler. Entering his 10th NFL season, he will be joining his fifth team in the past six years.

Clowney registered just 2.0 sacks last season with the Cleveland Browns, in part because of injuries. He missed five games due to an ankle injury and concussion.

But when Clowney has been at his best, the big-bodied rusher can be a game-wrecker. It was just two years ago with the Browns when he logged 9.0 sacks. From 2016-2018 with the Houston Texans, Clowney had 24.5 sacks and went to three straight Pro Bowls.

Clowney said part of the reason why he wanted to join the Ravens is because of their physicality, and that's why they liked him.

"He's a high energy player. He's a very physical player," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He's a guy when he plays, he's kind of reckless with his body. He throws it around. He's heavy handed, [and] he's a power rusher. He's a really good pass rusher. He's even a little underrated as a pass rusher."

After five years with the Texans, Clowney bounced to the Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland, and now Baltimore. He has inked one-year deals each of the past four offseasons. He said he's first and foremost looking to win.

In Baltimore, Clowney will reunite with Defensive Line Coach Anthony Weaver, who coached him during his best seasons in Houston. Clowney has also previously worked with Ravens Outside Linebackers Coach Chuck Smith during offseason training.

Harbaugh said Weaver was a "strong advocate" for signing Clowney and involved in the process from the start, including calling the free-agent linebacker. Clowney said his relationships with Ravens players and coaches were a major reason why he chose Baltimore.

"When I came for the visit, it felt like it was an easy transition for me to fit in around here," he said. "It was pretty smooth for me and I kind of enjoyed it when I came. I was like, 'I think I can see myself playing in Baltimore and being a part of the organization.'

"Whatever it is that I can fit in and help, that's what I'm trying to do. I think they've got a great team, a great chance to win, and I just want to be a part of it."

The Ravens have confidence in Oweh, Ojabo and Bowser, who is expected back for Week 1, and Clowney adds more proven veteran experience to that group. After inking his deal midway through practice, Clowney joined his teammates on the field in plain clothes and chatted with Oweh during his breaks between reps.

Coming off a season with 3.0 sacks, Oweh is entering a key Year 3 with high expectations to lead Baltimore's outside linebackers. After hardly playing as a rookie, Ojabo is also going to be in a critical position. Both have had strong training camps and were two of the standouts from joint practices against the Washington Commanders this week, but the Ravens wanted another veteran in the mix.

Last year, Baltimore brought back veteran Justin Houston and signed Jason Pierre-Paul in September. Oweh and Ojabo will likely pick up the majority Houston's snaps from last year, but Pierre-Paul also played 60% of the defensive snaps. This season, Clowney could pick up that share and be a strong complement to the talented young players already in Baltimore.

"It gives us the chance to get four pass rushers on the field on third-down situations that are [for] true pass rusher-type guys," Harbaugh said. "There's a real value in that."

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