Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (99) tackles Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Talks advance between Jadeveon Clowney, Browns

Talks between the Cleveland Browns and former No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney are advancing and could culminate in an agreement, ESPN reported.

The network said the Pro Bowl pass rusher is expected to visit Cleveland on Monday.

The Browns also were in the hunt for Clowney before the 2020 season, looking to pair him with All-Pro Myles Garrett, but he instead signed a one-year deal with Tennessee.

He played just eight games for the Titans before a knee injury ended his season in November and posted the worst numbers of his career since he was a rookie: 19 tackles, no sacks and one forced fumble.

Clowney was the No. 1 pick in 2014 by the Texans and he spent his first five seasons in Houston. He played with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019.

Now 28, Clowney has played in 83 games (74 starts). He has 255 tackles (75 for loss), 32 sacks, one interception, nine forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. He has been selected to three Pro Bowls.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (99) forces a fumble by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jadeveon Clowney free agency delayed by knee surgery

Dec 6, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) warms up prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jadeveon Clowney underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus and the free agent defensive end won’t be medically cleared until April, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

Free agency begins March 17, although teams can negotiate with unrestricted free agents two days prior.

Clowney played eight games for the Tennessee Titans in 2020 before he landed on injured reserve.

The Titans lured Clowney to Nashville on a one-year deal worth $12.7 million — up to $15 million with incentives — although he was unsigned until Sept. 6.

Clowney said throughout free agency that he was taking his time in the process while discussing a deal with the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and others.

Upon joining the Titans, he didn’t record a sack and made only a modest impact, considering the investment.

In seven NFL seasons, the former No. 1 pick (2014) has played in 83 games (74 starts) and notched 32 QB sacks.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Clowney spent his first five seasons with the Houston Texans and played for the Seattle Seahawks in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (99) takes the field during player introductions before a game against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Clowney done for season after meniscus surgery

Tennessee Titans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had season-ending surgery on his left meniscus last week, according to NFL Network.

Clowney was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 21 and the Titans had hoped for his return before the playoffs. The three-time Pro Bowl selection would have been eligible to return for Tennessee’s game at Jacksonville on Dec. 13.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Walt Lowe, who serves as the team physician of the Houston Texans.

Clowney, 27, registered zero sacks over eight starts this season. He recorded 19 tackles, six quarterback hits, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

The Titans signed Clowney to a one-year, $13 million deal before the season. He’ll become a free agent in March.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney has 32 sacks, 255 tackles and eight fumble recoveries in 83 games with the Houston Texans (2014-18), Seattle Seahawks (2019) and Titans.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (99) takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Titans place LB Clowney (knee) on injured reserve

The Tennessee Titans placed outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney on injured reserve, the team announced Saturday.

Clowney, who is nursing a meniscus issue in his knee, will miss at least the next three games as a result of the move. The three-time Pro Bowl selection is eligible to return for Tennessee’s road game against Jacksonville on Dec. 13.

The Titans (6-3) also ruled out safety Kenny Vaccaro for Sunday’s road game against the Baltimore Ravens (6-3). Vaccaro initially had been listed on the injury report with an ailing neck, however the team ruled him out with a concussion on Saturday.

Clowney, 27, has registered zero sacks through eight starts this season. He has recorded 19 tackles, six quarterback hits, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney has 32 sacks, 255 tackles and eight fumble recoveries in 83 games with the Houston Texans (2014-18), Seattle Seahawks (2019) and Titans.

Also on Saturday, the Titans promoted Greg Mabin from the practice squad to the active roster and sent fellow defensive back Kareem Orr (groin) to injured reserve.

Linebackers Will Compton and Tuzar Skipper were elevated to the 53-man roster for Sunday’s game against the Ravens, but both will return to the practice squad following the contest.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (99) takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Titans DE Clowney (knee) may need surgery

Tennessee Titans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is dealing with a meniscus issue in his knee that could require surgery, NFL Network reported Saturday.

The three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game in Nashville against the Chicago Bears, but the report said he is unlikely to play after not practicing all week.

Clowney, who signed a one-year, $12 million deal a few days before the season opener, has reportedly been trying to play through the injury and has registered zero sacks through seven starts.

Clowney, 27, has 15 tackles, six quarterback hits, four passes defensed, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney has 32 sacks, 251 tackles, seven fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns in 82 games with the Houston Texans (2014-18), Seattle Seahawks (2019) and Titans.

–Field Level Media

December 29, 2019; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (90) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Titans announce signing of ‘closer’ Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney has landed in Tennessee.

The Titans shared a photo on social media Sunday afternoon that showed the three-time Pro Bowl selection standing beside the team plane with owner Amy Adams Strunk, not long after announcing the signing of the free agent defensive end.

“We brought in the closer. #TeamMom,” said the caption accompanying the photo on the team’s Instagram post.

Clowney, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, agreed to a one-year deal with the Titans. While the team did not announce terms, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the defensive end’s deal is worth at least $12 million a year with a potential for $15 million.

Tennessee finished the 2019 season at 9-7, earned a wild-card playoff berth and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game.

The 27-year-old chose the Titans over returning to the Seattle Seahawks or signing with the New Orleans Saints, who made a late push. Clowney reportedly was looking for $21 million per season when free agency opened in March, but the market stalled.

In 75 career games, he has tallied 32 sacks, 236 tackles, nine forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 71 tackles for loss, 14 pass deflections, one interception and four defensive touchdowns. He also has a noteworthy injury history, which includes microfracture surgery on his knee and core muscle surgery after the 2019 season.

Clowney played in 13 games (11 starts) for the Seahawks last season, registering three sacks, 31 tackles and 13 quarterback hits.

With the Titans, he will work again with head coach Mike Vrabel, who was an assistant coach with the Texans for part of the time Clowney played in Houston. Clowney spent his first five seasons in Houston before being traded to Seattle before the 2019 season.

Vrabel had nice things to say about Clowney earlier this offseason.

“When I coached J.D., J.D. was prepared,” Vrabel said, per the team website. “We did a lot with him and put him in a lot of different places to try and have him help us affect the game. And he played extremely hard. … We asked him to do a lot, and he did do a lot for us. I never had an issue with J.D.’s effort on the field.”

The Titans are scheduled to begin the season Sept. 14 against the Broncos in Denver.

–Field Level Media

Jan 5, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (90) reacts after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Still without deal, Clowney switches agents

With the NFL season kickoff less than a week away, free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has fired agent Bus Cook, according to ESPN.

The former No. 1 overall draft pick reportedly now will work with Kennard McGuire as he tries to find a team that will meet his contract demands this season.

Clowney fired Cook once before, according to ProFootballTalk. That came in the 2019 offseason, though Clowney rehired Cook before being traded from the Houston Texans to the Seattle Seahawks.

Cook is best known as the longtime agent of retired quarterback Brett Favre. Kennard’s clients include Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Clowney has been linked to the Tennessee Titans and Seahawks, but on Friday reportedly met with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in Houston for a private dinner.

Seattle, where Clowney played in 2019, and Tennessee both would be looking to pay him around $12 million per season, per Yahoo Sports. He reportedly turned down an offer earlier this offseason that could have been as high as $18 million from the Cleveland Browns.

Clowney reportedly was looking for $21 million per season when free agency opened, but found the market wanting.

Clowney has tallied 32 sacks in 75 career games. He also has a noteworthy injury history, which includes microfracture surgery on his knee and core muscle surgery after the 2019 season.

Clowney, 27, played in 13 games for the Seahawks last season, registering three sacks, 31 tackles and 13 quarterback hits.

–Field Level Media

Dec 22, 2019; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (90) speaks with a teammate during pregame warmups against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Clowney’s lack of contact frustrates Titans

In July, Titans general manager Jon Robinson said he wanted free-agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney to visit Tennessee for a physical before they would consider signing him.

He’s still waiting.

The Titans — who need a top-quality edge rusher — remain frustrated by their “lack of engagement” with Clowney, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson told ESPN 102.5 The Game in Nashville on Thursday.

Clowney is running out of time — and options — before the start of the 2020 season. Robinson said the suitors for the former No. 1 overall draft pick are the Titans and Seattle Seahawks but that a deal could come together quickly with either team, given the time crunch.

Seattle, where Clowney played in 2019, and Tennessee both would be looking to pay him around $12 million per season, Robinson said. He reportedly turned down an offer earlier this offseason that could have been as high as $18 million from the Cleveland Browns.

Jon Robinson, speaking with interviewer Paul Kuharsky on a video conversation for a charity in early July, said he was impressed with what he had viewed of the 2014 No. 1 overall pick on social media.

“What I’ve seen on Twitter, him rushing off the edge and hitting that bag,” he said, via PaulKuharsky.com. “Anytime you are dealing with whatever the contract is going to command, you want to make sure that the player is healthy, that you are able to allow your doctors to see him, to look at it, to make sure everything is going to be good.”

Clowney has tallied 32 sacks in 75 career games. He also has a noteworthy injury history, which includes microfracture surgery on his knee and core muscle surgery after the 2019 season.

Clowney, 27, reportedly was seeking more than $20 million annually when he hit free agency in mid-March. He played in 13 games for the Seahawks last season, registering three sacks, 31 tackles and 13 quarterback hits.

–Field Level Media

The key to success

<p> With NFL training camps opening their doors, I thought now would be a good time to remind fans of what the key is to becoming a top NFL player. Yes, talent has a lot to do with it. But there are many talented players who fail to live up to expectations and disappoint their teams every year.</p> <p> The players who are at the top of their games, year after year for a long period of time, are the players who have a high degree of football character.</p> <p> <strong>What is character?</strong></p> <p> When scouts go out on the road every fall to evaluate the players in their area, they are looking for three different things that go into the makeup of a top player. The first, obviously, is talent. A player has to have the traits to play the game at a high level. Second, he has to have personal character. When a scout looks for personnel character, he is looking at how the player lives his life. Is he a good person? How does he get along and relate with people both inside and outside of football? Is he involved with community service? How important is school to him? What kind of teammate is he? What kind of personality does he have? When away from football, does he always do the right thing and stay out of trouble? Is he a drug abuser? Where does he come from? What was his family life like? Does he have a support system?</p> <p> A scout must have answer for all of those questions and more as it relates to a prospect’s personal life.</p> <p> <strong>What is football character?</strong></p> <p> The third component that goes into the evaluation process is a prospect’s football character. Football character is related to personal character, but they are not the same.</p> <p> There are many factors that go into the makeup of a player’s football character. These factors include his love and passion for the game. Is the game important to the player and will he do everything that is possible to make himself a better player? No matter how talented a player is, if he doesn’t love playing the game it will eventually catch up to him. He may be successful for a short time, but it won’t last.</p> <p class="co_image co_image_right inline_right"> <img alt="Jadeveon Clowney" src="http://cdn.cloudfiles.mosso.com/c1910342/media_center/images/rendered/blog/wysiwyg/clowney.jpg" />All eyes will be on Jadeveon Clowney this season to see if his character matches his talent.</p> <p> Next, the player has to have a strong desire to be great. If he is satisfied with how good he is now and lacks the drive to become even better, he will never improve. He will reach a plateau and level off. A player’s work ethic has to be at a consistently high level.</p> <p> A player who has strong football character is usually a highly competitive type of person. He hates to lose at anything and when playing in the game, he goes all out every play. You seldom, if ever, see this type of player take a play off. He is usually a physical, aggressive player who wants to win every battle over the course of the game.</p> <p> A player with top football character can take and accept different types of coaching. Every coach has his own style on how to manage the game. Some are tough taskmasters, others are more cerebral. No matter the style, the player accepts it and tries to improve.</p> <p> Another component of football character involves a player’s smarts and instincts to play the game. I’m not saying that every top player has to be a great student. But what I am saying is that he must have a strong desire to learn the mental part of the game. If he has limitations with learning, he will do whatever it takes to know and understand the scheme he is playing in. It is tied in closely with the player’s dedication and passion for the game.</p> <p> <strong>Are football character and personal character tied together?</strong></p> <p> This can be a hard question to answer, but in many cases, yes, the two are tied together. There are many players who, because football is important to them and they never want it taken away, will lead good lives and stay out of trouble.</p> <p> There are players who were brought up in difficult environments who overcome that situation because their drive to be a great player won’t let them do the wrong thing. The game and the benefits of playing the game are just too important.</p> <p> There are players who have outstanding personal character who just don’t love football and lack a desire to be great. These types of players usually fail early in their careers. When I was with the Bears, we selected a player very high in the draft who was a great kid and excellent student, but he really didn’t love the game of football. He played in the league for a few years, but never lived up to his talent level because of that lack of desire. Like most in this category, he was labeled a bust.</p> <p> There are other players I have been around who, mainly because of their love of the game, stayed out of the trouble that was always around them.</p> <p> The player who has talent but lacks a high degree of both football and personal character will never have a chance. That type of player might not make it through college let alone get to the NFL.</p> <p> <strong>The great players</strong></p> <p> When we study players like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, J.J. Watt, Frank Gore and Charles Tillman, we see a common denominator in all of them. They not only are top citizens, but they also have outstanding football character, which has led to long and successful careers for each.</p> <p> We can look at a player like Cleveland’s Josh Gordon and, while his natural talent is rare, he lacks the drive to stay away from the things that will keep him out of football. If he had stronger football character, Gordon’s drive to be one of the best would keep him away from substance abuse.</p> <p> The first player selected in this year’s draft, Jadeveon Clowney, has rare talent. He has the natural talent to be one of the greatest players ever at his position. As rare as that talent is, he did not show it during the 2013 college season, but we did witness this talent in 2012. It remains to be seen what kind of pro Clowney will become. What you also have to look for is not only how he plays in 2014, but what happens going forward. Assuming he stays healthy, will he dominate for years, or will he become “just another guy.”</p> <p> <strong>Follow Greg on Twitter:</strong> @<a href="http://www.twitter.com/greggabe" target="_blank">greggabe</a></p>