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Ravens Insider: Jadeveon Clowney agrees to huge deal with Panthers after resurgent year with Ravens


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Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney had perhaps the best year of his career with the Ravens. Now he’s cashing in.

Clowney, 31, has agreed to sign with the Carolina Panthers, the team announced Wednesday. The deal is worth a whopping $20 million over two years, according to ESPN, and could reach as high as $24 million.

It comes after Clowney tied a career-high with 9 1/2 sacks for Baltimore last season and was a key contributor on a defense that became the first to lead the NFL in sacks, takeaways and points allowed per game.

After an ugly exit from the Cleveland Browns following a 2022 season in which he registered just two sacks in 12 games, Clowney signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with Baltimore last August and thrived with the Ravens under defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. In addition to ranking second on the team in sacks, he had his best pressure rate, pass-rush win rate and most total pressures in a season, according to Pro Football Focus, and was a disruptive force against the pass as well as the run. He also had 43 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Another big reason for his success was his health: He played 15 of 17 games and logged 654 snaps, his second-highest total since 2018.

Clowney also said two-time All-Pro Roquan Smith was the best inside linebacker he ever played with, raved about Baltimore as an organization and called his teammates a “special group.”

“Sure hope so,” Clowney said a day after the Ravens lost in the AFC championship game when asked if he would like to return to Baltimore. “I enjoyed coming to work. It made my life a lot easier this year. That’s probably why I played at a high level because I [didn’t] have any pressure. I would just come in, have fun and be yourself and just play ball. There was never any pressure throughout the week on anybody, but yes, I would love to come back here.”

Baltimore had hoped to bring Clowney back for another season as well, but he became largely unaffordable for the salary-cap strapped Ravens, particularly after they made a free agent splash and added running back Derrick Henry, who signed a two-year deal earlier this month that will pay him $9 million next season.

Clowney’s addition to the Panthers, meanwhile, helps fill their pass rush void after they traded outside linebacker Brian Burns to the New York Giants earlier this month. It’s also a homecoming of sorts for the South Carolina native and former Gamecocks star, who joins a Panthers team that finished with the league’s worst record last season (2-15) and hired Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales after Frank Reich was fired midseason.

However, it leaves the Ravens continuing their search for a replacement at edge rusher. Currently, their only outside linebackers are Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo, who is coming off a torn ACL, and second-year players Tavius Robinson and Malik Hamm, who was an undrafted rookie last season.

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