Browns end work with Jadeveon Clooney after critical comments

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Jadeveon Clowney’s last move with the Cleveland Browns happened off the field — a public bashing born of frustration and disappointment.

The team countered accordingly.

Clooney was sent home from practice on Friday, a day after he lashed out at the organization and coaching staff in an explosive interview that effectively ended his second season in Cleveland just before the finale in Pittsburgh.

Coach Kevin Stefanski declined to directly address Clowney’s situation — or provide any details about his decision to penalize the defensive end — as did Brown (7-9), who is always in the play. Looks entangled, ready to face the Steelers (8-8) on Sunday.

However, Stefanski indicated that the clowns would not be on the tour.

He said, ‘Nothing comes above the team.

In an interview with cleveland.com on Thursday, Clooney said in Cleveland’s defense he was not being displayed much. He did not feel appreciated and was “95% sure” he was not returning for a third season.

Clowney further claimed that the Browns favored four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Myles Garrett and were only focused on getting him into the Hall of Fame. He added that he needed to be “around someone who believes in me and my ability.”

Clowney clarified that he has no personal issue with Garrett, who had 15 sacks in the Week 18 matchup with Pittsburgh.

Garrett said he understood that Clowney wanted to be more productive, but was disappointed with how his partner ultimately expressed it.

“This is our team,” Garrett said. “He’s my brother. He’s my teammate and I wish we could have this face-to-face and also as coaches. We could sit everyone down and just have a chat and maybe that’s the way.” How would I handle it?

“But hindsight is 20/20. He’s having a lot of emotion towards this volatile season and there’s no right way to handle things. But I wish he’d handled it a little differently.”

Garrett said that his relationship with Clowney remained “cordial” and that he did not take the comments to heart.

Asked if he would welcome clowns at any time, Garrett said: “We need volunteers, not hostages.”

Garrett said, “If you feel that no one here believes in you, go where you feel you are wanted and loved and appreciated.”

Clowney revived his career in Cleveland last season, recording nine sacks — his most since 2018 — and pairing with Garrett to give the Browns one of the NFL’s most fearsome pass rushers.

He re-signed with the Browns as a free agent in May for $11 million, but the Clowns’ second season did not go the way he or the team had hoped. A few games in, he expressed frustration that Brown was changing his assignments during games in order to give Garrett more favorable matchups.

Because Garrett is one of the game’s key players, it makes sense for the Browns to move him to expose an opponent’s weakness. The clown didn’t see it that way.

Defensive line coach Chris Kiffin revealed that in the October 23 game at Baltimore, Clowney refused to play on any downs other than third down. He was benched for the first series the following week against Cincinnati for his behavior.

Kiffin said the decision to move Garrett around was natural.

“We’re going to put our best players in the best position to win,” he said.

Kiffin also disagreed with Clowney’s claim that Garrett was treated differently.

“It was a frustrating season for all of us — everyone in this organization, defensively and for him,” Kiffin said. “Obviously, he didn’t have the same production as last year, so he’s disappointed. I don’t agree with the way he went about it, but that’s what we’re dealing with here today.”

Clowney came to the Browns’ facility and participated in a situation meeting with his fellow defensive linemen before being asked to leave.

Kiffin said that he spoke with Clowney before Stefanski put him out.

“I’ll just say that I addressed the room that I felt she handled it the wrong way as a man,” Kiffin said.

The turmoil surrounding the Clowns is similar to the messy situation from last season involving wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was suspended by the Browns and eventually traded after weeks of drama.

Stefanski doesn’t feel there is a connection between his players and staff.

“Every team, all 32, we all deal with things throughout the season,” he said. “Sometimes they stay home and you deal with them, and sometimes they don’t. It’s very similar to family. That’s what we do too. We work as a family. Many Sometimes you take tough decisions, but that is what we are trying to do.

Clowney was the No. 1 overall pick in 2014 by Houston. He spent five seasons with the Texans before playing one year each with Seattle and Tennessee.

NOTES: Starting RT Jack Conklin will miss the finale with an ankle injury. He will be replaced by James Hudson, who was beaten to four sacks by Steelers star TJ Watt in last year’s game in Pittsburgh. … CB Denzel Ward is questionable with a shoulder injury

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