Sweet Carolina! Panthers bringing home former No. 1 overall pick: No clowning around, here comes Jadeveon Clowney

Sweet Carolina! Panthers bring home former No. 1 overall pick
from Aaron Becker, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

Edge-rusher Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 pick by the Houston Texans in the 2014 NFL Draft, was one of the top players available on the open market, at least until Wednesday afternoon.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Panthers are signing Clowney to a two-year, $20 million deal worth up to $24 million after trading Brian Burns and losing Frankie Luvu in free agency.

Clowney is cashing in on a big pay day following one of the best seasons of his career. In 2023, the 31-year-old posted a career-high 9.5 sacks as well as 43 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery with the Ravens.

Carolina landing Clowney may be surprising to some after he had what seemed to be a strong visit with the New York Jets along with staying in touch with Baltimore. However, the opportunity to return home must have been too good to pass up.

Clowney grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and now becomes the second South Pointe High School player to land with the Panthers, following his former Stallions teammate Stephon Gilmore.

CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson spoke with Clowney shortly after he decided to join the Panthers.

“We’re going to be just 30 minutes from home,” Clowney said. “It’s where we do all our community and foundation work going into season 11. Plus, my Grandaddy is getting older; and last year we had a lot of losses in our family. So honestly, it just feels like a full circle moment being closer.”

Clowney will unlikely be contending for a Super Bowl in 2024 as he’s joining the team that had the worst record (2-15) in the league last season.

However, he’ll immediately be given the opportunity to be a leader on and off the football field for a young Panthers team.

Clowney, who is heading to his sixth team since entering the NFL, should fit well into defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero’s scheme as he looks to pick up right where he left off in 2023.