Ravens’ 9.5 Sack Pass-Rusher Leaves Baltimore for Hometown Panthers - Sport News

Ravens’ 9.5 Sack Pass-Rusher Leaves Baltimore for Hometown Panthers

The exodus of Baltimore Ravens free agents in the 2024 offseason continued on Wednesday, March 27. This time it was the resurgent pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney who left for his hometown Carolina Panthers.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport posted on X, “Sources: #Panthers and free agent pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney have agreed to terms.”

Ravens OLB Jadeveon Clowney attempts to take down Browns QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

Clowney was in talks with the Jets, Panthers and the Ravens as he looked to capitalize on his successful 2023 campaign with Baltimore.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo brought up the possibility on March 13, when he posted, “A possible homecoming in Carolina: The #Panthers will host three-time Pro Bowl selection and Rock Hill, S.C. native Jadeveon Clowney on a visit to this week, sources say.”

Clowney will now be going home to play in Carolina where he hopes to help turnaround the 2-15 Panthers.

The Panthers traded away their sack leader Brian Burns to the New York Giants in 2023, leaving a hole in their defensive line. They also lost Frankie Luvu, their second leading rusher with 5.5 sacks, to the Washington Commanders this offseason.

Rapoport went on to post, “It’s a 2-year, $20M deal for Clowney, with a max value of $24M.” Clowney now takes a significant role with a significant raise and will provide valuable talent and leadership to a young Panthers team.

Jadeveon Clowney’s Career Was Revitalized in Baltimore
The former No. 1 pick of the Houston Texans was able to revive his career on the Ravens’ defense after a tough stretch in his career.

After five years with the Texans, where he was named to an All-Pro Second Team once, and Pro Bowl three times, but never quite achieving his No. 1 draft pick status, Clowney began a journey across the league.

Clowney made stops with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans, where he was only able to contribute 3.0 sacks over two years. He found his way to the Cleveland Browns where he found success in 2021 with 9.0 sacks but was unable to reproduce the stats in 2022.

He remained unsigned until August of 2023, when general manager Eric DeCosta took a chance on the veteran and signed him to a 1-year, $2.5 million deal right before the season.

Clowney responded with one of the best seasons of his career, where he tied his career high of 9.5 sacks and was a wrecking ball on the line. The rusher also had 43 combined tackles, which was his highest since 2018 in Houston.

Pro Football Focus was graded out as the 18th best edge defender in the NFL out of 112 defenders with a grade of 82.9.

Ravens Edge Rushing Options Are Becoming Limited
With the loss of Clowney the Ravens depth at the edge position is extremely thin. Clowney was their second leading pass rusher with 9.5 sacks behind DT Justin Madubuike.

Kevin Oestreicher, host of “Locked on Ravens,” posted, “Ravens’ current pass rusher group – Odafe Oweh – David Ojabo – Tavius Robinson – Malik Hamm.”

The options in free agency are limited at this point, so they may need to look to the draft to add top talent. The Athletics’ Jeff Zrebiec posted, “Van Noy still available, but vet edge rush market pretty thin otherwise. Other names: Yannick Ngakoue, Carl Lawson, Bud Dupree, Jerry Hughes, Rasheem Green.”

Zrebiec also wrote, “Never expected Ravens to get in that neighborhood for Clowney, but that doesn’t take away from fact that he’s big loss.”

If Van Noy does not return to Baltimore than three out of the five leading pass-rushers for the Ravens would not be returning.

DeCosta did not sign the two veterans until right before the season, so he could be just waiting for price tags to come down before trying to capture lightning for a second year in a row.

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