Tagged in: reach

Jadeveon Clowney, Cleveland Browns reach one-year deal worth up to $10M

Free-agent pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney has signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns, it was revealed Wednesday.

The deal is worth up to $10 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Clowney will have an opportunity to thrive playing opposite fellow former No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett.

“I’ve been getting double-teamed an awful lot in this league, in my career,” Clowney said during his virtual news conference. “I’m looking forward to playing with somebody dominant on the other side in Myles Garrett who can draw a double-team. Maybe I can go one-on-one more.”

The 28-year-old Clowney visited with the Browns last month, sources told ESPN, but left Cleveland without a deal. General manager Andrew Berry also heavily pursued him last season to pair with Garrett, but the three-time Pro Bowler reportedly rejected Cleveland’s multiyear contract offer and ultimately signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Tennessee Titans.

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“We’re excited to add Jadeveon to our defensive line,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said in a statement. “He’s a disruptive force that will help us against the run and the pass. We’ve been able to make some nice additions to our defense throughout free agency and we are looking forward to getting to work, so we can improve our team.”

Clowney struggled in 2020 with Tennessee, ending with 19 tackles and zero sacks in eight matches before suffering a season-ending knee injury in November.

He had surgery in December and is expected to be at full health for the start of the 2021 season.

“I feel great now,” Clowney said. “I’m looking forward to this season to prove to guys that I’m back healthy and I can still dominate in this league.”

Over the past three seasons, Clowney has ranked fifth in the NFL with a pass rush win rate of 25%, according to ESPN Stats & Information. During that span, Garrett ranks third, at 26%.

“We love his relentless style of play,” Berry said in a statement. “He’s one of the more disruptive players in the game and we think he’s going to add an element of ruggedness along our defensive line and will pair nicely with many of the guys we have on the roster already. The other thing we love about Jadeveon is his versatility, his ability to play all across the front and impact the game regardless of his alignment.”

Cleveland already bolstered its pass rush in free agency last month, signing Takk McKinley to a one-year deal. McKinley struggled with injuries last season but ranked seventh in pass rush win rate in 2018, one spot behind Clowney and four behind Garrett that season.

The No. 1 overall selection by the Houston Texans in 2014, Clowney can play any position along the defensive front, which makes him valuable to teams wanting scheme versatility. He is a disruptive player as an interior pass-rusher or coming off the edge.

Clowney has 255 tackles (75 for a loss), 86 quarterback hits and 32 sacks in his seven seasons. Over his career, he has dealt with various knee injuries in addition to groin, elbow, back and Lisfranc injuries.

The Browns now have three of the past seven No. 1 overall draft picks on their roster, involving quarterback Baker Mayfield.

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Minnesota Vikings, safety Xavier Woods reach 1-year deal

The Minnesota Vikings agreed to a contract with free-agent safety Xavier Woods, the team revealed.

Terms were not disclosed but a source confirmed to ESPN on Saturday that it’s a one-year, $2.25 million deal that contains $1.75 million guaranteed.

The 25-year-old Woods, who developed into a versatile safety with the ability to cover the slot over his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, is expected to fill the Vikings’ opening at free safety opposite Harrison Smith after Anthony Harris’ departure in free agency.

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After concluding the season ranked 29th in points allowed and 27th in yards allowed, Minnesota has focused its efforts on the defensive side.

In addition to Woods, the Vikings have acquired only defensive players in free agency — defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, linebacker Nick Vigil and cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander as head coach Mike Zimmer looks to revamp a unit that allowed 29.7 points per game in 2020 (third-worst in the NFL).

A sixth-round draft pick in 2017, Woods became a full-time starter in his second season with the Cowboys and started his last 44 matches, missing four games over three seasons because of injury.

Heading into 2020, he was viewed as a cornerstone piece to the Cowboys’ secondary, but he struggled despite finishing second on the team with 72 tackles. He had just two tackles for loss, did not record a sack and had just two passes defended while not intercepting a pass for the first time in his career.

Woods can play both safety spots and also played as a nickel cornerback as a rookie.

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Tottenham suffer late draw but reach Europa League last-32 stage

Tottenham Hotspur earned the point they needed to reach the Europa League knockout stage on Thursday as they were held to a roller-coaster 3-3 draw at LASK Linz after Mamoudou Karamoko grabbed a stoppage-time equalizer for the Austrians.

Royal Antwerp lead Group J on 12 points after five games with Spurs second on 10 points. LASK are third with seven points and Bulgarian side Ludogorets are bottom without a point. Tottenham host Antwerp next week to decide the group winners.

Spurs struggled to settle in the first half and LASK went ahead in the 42nd minute as defender Matt Doherty slipped and Peter Michor finished a counter-attack by whipping a bouncing drive into the net which beat keeper Joe Hart at the far post.

The visitors leveled when Andres Andrade was penalized for handball in the area and Gareth Bale slammed home the resulting spot kick in first-half stoppage time before Son Heung-Min put Tottenham ahead 11 minutes into the second half.

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LASK equalized with a shot from Johannes Eggestein in the 84th minute but again they quickly conceded a penalty which substitute Dele Alli dispatched to make it 3-2.

Spurs looked set to win until Karamoko picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled a fine shot past Hart to snatch a late point but the visitors had done enough to make the last 32.

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho was left to stew over the dropped points.

“Not good [performance]. The result better than the performance. The second half better than the first half,” Mourinho stated after the match.

“Some players individually had very good performances but some players individually had very poor performances. The only good thing I take from the game is that we are qualified.”

Spurs were without club captain Harry Kane for the game, with Mourinho saying he rested his star striker ahead of a pivotal North London derby versus Arsenal this weekend.

“I believe [Kane] is going to be fit. I’m not sure. He’s having treatment but I could be doing some bluff and pretend he’s in trouble, but he’s not and I think he’ll play [against Arsenal],” Mourinho stated.

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