Tagged in: Tennessee Titans

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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Tennessee Titans’ Jadeveon Clowney out for rest of season after having knee surgery

The ship has been righted for the Tennessee Titans following a rough stretch that saw them lose three of four games, having now won two consecutives, albeit without veteran pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney.

The 27-year-old was recently placed on injured reserve with a meniscus issue in his knee, and surgery had not yet been ruled out as an option to repair it.

Having not played since Week 10, Clowney took time to make a decision on the latter but seemingly did this past week, having reportedly undergone surgery on Wednesday — per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network —  ending his season.

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The 27-year-old was betting big on himself in 2020, waving off several offers in the offseason as he looked for a one-year deal that would both pay him handsomely and allow for the re-entering into free agency in 2021.

After not receiving as warm of a welcome as he had hoped in the last wave of free agency, the three-time Pro Bowl defensive end was looking to rise his value by way of helping the Titans defense become one opposing teams fear, but Tennessee has struggled to take down opposing quarterbacks this campaign for much of the season, even with Clowney in tow. 

While he’s been great about applying pressure, as shown in his six QB hits this year prior to injury.

He registered no sacks through seven matches played and would’ve liked to stay on the field to change that before hitting the open market for a second consecutive offseason.

Coming off of a down season in 2019 that saw him log just three sacks for the Seattle Seahawks, this season-ending injury could tank his stock on the open market. For the Titans, it’s another big swing at pass rusher in 2020 that didn’t end how they’d hoped it would, the other being the failed experiment with now-released pass rusher Vic Beasley.

Even still, sitting at 8-3 on the season, head coach Mike Vrabel has weathered the storm well.

And now, from an individual standpoint, Clowney must weather his own.

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Tennessee Titans LT Taylor Lewan confirms he suffered torn ACL

The Titans look primed to make another deep playoff run. But they’re going to have to do it without one of their better players.

Left tackle Taylor Lewan confirmed via Twitter that he suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s 42-36 overtime victory over the Texans. The three-time Pro Bowler went down in the second quarter of the OT thriller in which Tennessee managed to remain undefeated. An MRI on Monday confirmed he’s now lost for the season.

The Titans later placed Lewan on injured reserve and activated wide receiver Corey Davis from the reserve/COVID-19 list. “Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m going to handle this rehab like a Pro and come back better than ever,” Lewan posted on social media.

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The Titans can’t afford to sulk either.

They need to figure out Lewan’s replacement. Ty Sambrailo took over the blind side Sunday and proceeded to get beat off the edge by J.J. Watt, leading to a strip-sack of Ryan Tannehill.

Of course, Tennessee’s offense would recover. Tannehill added to his two early touchdown passes with two more, while Derrick Henry rumbled for 212 yards and a pair of late scores.

Maybe the Titans are fine. They’ve boasted one of the league’s best offenses thus far, despite Lewan’s slow start to his seventh campaign. He’s currently graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 49 tackle among those with at least 200 snaps. He rated no worse than 22nd in the previous five seasons.

His successor will be filling big shoes regardless. Sambrailo, a 2015 second-round pick by the Broncos, has never started more than four matches in a season.

Tennessee drafted offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson No. 29 overall in April but he’s spent most of the season on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The rookie was removed Oct. 10. He also was a right tackle in college.

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Jadeveon Clowney signs with Titans

Jadeveon Clowney made clear for months he wanted to be with a team that can win a Super Bowl, and he’s finally made his choice even if he didn’t get the long-term deal in the process.

The Tennessee Titans announced Sunday they agreed to terms with the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker on a one-year contract. The Titans did not reveal the terms Sunday. But ESPN.com reported the deal could be worth up to $15 million.

The No. 1 overall pick of 2014, Clowney went into free agency looking for a mega-contract that never came calling. The pandemic shut down travel for physicals, and Clowney didn’t visit anybody once the NFL permitted free agents to meet teams in person.

Clowney spent most of his career with the Houston Texans before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks before the 2019 campaign. He hit free agency this past spring and came to an settlement with the Titans nine days before their 2020 season opener.

They play the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football in Week 1.

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Since 2016 according to Sportradar, only Aaron Donald and Chandler Jones have combined for more tackles for loss, forced fumbles and quarterback pressures than Clowney who has 60 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles and 159 total pressures.

Clowney, 27, is rejoining coach Mike Vrabel.

They worked together for three seasons in Houston when Vrabel was the defensive line coach. One of those years, Clowney reached the Pro Bowl after he had 59 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.

Vrabel and the Titans reached the AFC championship game in 2019 and lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. In six NFL seasons, Clowney has 236 tackles, 71 tackles for loss and 32 sacks.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection was one of the biggest stars left in the free agent market ahead of the 2020 season openers. He is coming off a core injury that required offseason surgery.

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Monti Ossenfort leaving Patriots to join Titans as Director of player personnel

Former New England Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort is joining the Tennessee Titans as their director of player personnel, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson worked with Ossenfort for eight years in New England. Now they’ll join forces in their quest to bring a championship to Tennessee.

The news was first reported by Sports Illustrated.

Hiring Ossenfort is one of many Patriots-to-Titans moves since Robinson took over, which began with hiring former Patriots player Mike Vrabel to be head coach. Vrabel played for the Patriots when Ossenfort joined the organization as a personnel assistant in 2003.

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Ossenfort recently interviewed for the Cleveland Browns’ GM job, which went to Andrew Berry.

The Patriots blocked Ossenfort from interviewing for the Houston Texans’ GM job last year.

Ossenfort just concluded his 18th season in the NFL and 15th with the Patriots. He spent the past six years as director of college scouting, and has been on other teams’ radar for general manager jobs.

Ossenfort’s contract with the Patriots was set to expire after the draft, and with no opportunities for upward mobility in New England, where director of player personnel Nick Caserio is entrenched as Bill Belichick’s top personnel executive, his best opportunity for advancement was to look elsewhere.

Ossenfort has a strong connection with Robinson, who worked for the Patriots from 2002 to 2013, elevating from area scout to director of college scouting.

Ossenfort was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at quarterback for the University of Minnesota-Morris, graduating from the school in 2000. His first NFL encounter came as a training camp intern with the Minnesota Vikings in 2001.

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Patrick Mahomes lifts Chiefs to first Super Bowl in 50 years

With his best imitation of a tightrope walker, Patrick Mahomes high-wired the Kansas City Chiefs into their first Super Bowl since 1970.

They outran the run-oriented Tennessee Titans and star back Derrick Henry for a 35-24 triumph Sunday in the AFC championship.

At last, for the third time overall, the Chiefs (14-4) are Super Bowl bound.

“I mean, it’s amazing. It really is,” said Mahomes, had 294 yards passing and three touchdown passes. “To be here, to be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and to be able to do it here at Arrowhead, these people deserve it. And we’re not done yet.”

Adding to the joy of the achievement, coach Andy Reid and owner Clark Hunt accepted the Lamar Hunt Trophy — named after his father — emblematic of the AFC title. It was handed over to them by Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell, with Mahomes and safety Tyrann Mathieu jumping for joy on the makeshift stage.

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The Chiefs lost in 1967 in the first AFL-NFL Championship match — nope, it wasn’t called the Super Bowl yet — to the Lombardi Packers 35-10. Three years later, one year after the New York Jets shocked Baltimore to lay claim to the AFL being equal to the long-established NFL, Kansas City was back.

This time, it was known as the Super Bowl — indeed, Lamar Hunt is credited with coming up with the name — and his Chiefs hammered Minnesota 23-7 with the typical Wild West offensive flair and a staunch defense.

Those are characteristics that helped carry KC this campaign.

Reid isn’t as animated as Hall of Famer Hank Stram, who famously urged the Chiefs team to “keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys.” Caught up in the moment Sunday, Reid said, “It’s awesome,” before asking the crowd to chant “How about those Chiefs?”

Reid goes back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2004 season, when his Eagles lost to New England. That gap is second longest to Dick Vermeil’s hiatus.

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Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City ChiefsWho: Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs

When: Friday, August 28, 7 PM CT

Where: Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Missouri

Last Meeting: The Titans and Chiefs squared off in Week 1 of the 2014 season at Arrowhead Stadium. The Titans defeated the Chiefs 26-10. Alex Smith threw three interceptions in the game, and it was one of only two wins the Titans had in the entire 2014 season.

When you glance at the NFL preseason schedule in its entirety, from the first day of training camp until the last day before the regular season begins, the first 45 minutes of the third preseason game could be the most critical.

In what has become custom with nearly every team in the league, those minutes serve as the final warm-up, the final run-through that the starters will likely see before Week 1 of the regular season.

The Tennessee Titans head to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in both teams third preseason game.

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As Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) head coach Andy Reid confirmed on Wednesday, he plans to play his first team for the majority of the game against the Tennessee Titans (1-1) on Friday night.

The Chiefs are 2-0 so far in the preseason. Their most recent win was 14-13 against the Seattle Seahawks. Jeremy Maclin looked more involved in the offense and scored his first touchdown for the Chiefs.

The Tennessee Titans are 1-1 so far in the preseason. They are coming off a 27-14 victory over the St. Louis Rams. The Titans are looking to rebuild and rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota is now the cornerstone of the franchise.

With a month of preseason work having come and gone, the Chiefs and Titans will hold their final dress rehearsal on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

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