Disagreement between Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and the team and coaching staff has come to a head, with the team sending him home from practice and him publically bashing the organization.
The Browns sent Clowney home on Thursday after the defensive end harshly criticized the organization and coaching staff in an explosive interview the day before. Clowney was “95% sure” he wasn’t returning to the Browns and felt snubbed by the team favoring teammate and four-time Pro Bowler Myles Garrett.
“This is our team,” Garrett said, expressing disappointment with how Clowney chose to handle the situation.
Garrett went on to say that Clowney should go to a team where he will be appreciated and believed in, saying, “We want volunteers, not hostages.”
Clowney’s second season with the Browns, where he had nine sacks, didn’t go as hoped, something defensive line coach Chris Kiffin attributed to the team “putting our best player in the best position to win.”
Clowney’s comments ultimately ended his second season in Cleveland just ahead of their Week 18 game against the Steelers (8-8). He won’t be on the trip and Browns’ coach Kevin Stefanski addressed that “nothing comes above the team.”
This disruption comes as a similar situation last season with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. played out, where he was suspended by the Browns and eventually traded after weeks of drama. Stefanski doesn’t think there’s a disconnect between his players and staff, calling it “family” and saying “sometimes you make tough decisions.”
Clowney was the No. 1 overall pick in 2014 by Houston, and played with teams Seattle and Tennessee in the past, before joining the Browns. Starting right tackle Jack Conklin will miss the finale with an ankle injury, and cornerback Denzel Ward is questionable with a shoulder injury.