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The Browns star addressed his teammate’s recent remarks claiming the team focused more on Garrett than winning.
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Myles Garrett addressed the apparent rift between the Browns and Jadeveon Clowney on Friday on the heels of the club’s decision to send the defensive lineman home following a series of public comments criticizing the team and his All-Pro teammate.
Clowney, who’s in his second season with the Browns, made headlines Thursday after claiming in an interview that he hasn’t been properly utilized and the team hasn’t been focused on winning because the coaching staff overly favors Garrett. Clowney also said he’s “95% sure” he wouldn’t return to the team when he hits free agency this summer, adding that the Browns “got their own guys, and I ain’t one of them, so it’s time for me to get my exit slip.”
“You’re all trying to get somebody into the Hall of Fame instead of winning games,” Clowney told Cleveland.com. “I don’t even think [Garrett] notices. I ain’t trying to say it’s him. I try to get along with everybody I play with. Me and him don’t have a problem. It ain’t his fault, and it’s B.S., and I don’t have time for it.”
During his media availability ahead of Sunday’s season finale against Pittsburgh, Garrett told reporters he was “disappointed” and “a little bit confused” by Clowney’s remarks, and noted their relationship has always been “cordial.” The star pass rusher also said he wished Clowney would have handled his frustration “a little bit differently” and they could’ve talked face-to-fact before he went public.
“If I’m the most double-teamed guy, it’s hard to say I’m getting the most favorable matchups,” Garrett said, per ESPN. “What I’ve done speaks for itself. Of course they’re going to put me in positions to make plays. But they’re also going to be positions where I’m going to get double-teamed. I move all over the line. [Clowney] has moved, as well. We’re both moved to be put in favorable matchups. He’s getting those same looks, at least that’s what I see. And I wish we could have talked about it.”
When asked whether he’d welcome Clowney back, Garrett pulled a card from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, saying the Browns “want volunteers, not hostages.”
“If you feel like no one believes in you here, then go where you feel like you’re wanted and loved and appreciated,” Garrett added.
As of Friday afternoon, it remains unclear if Clowney will play on Sunday against the Steelers, although the nine-year veteran appears focused on finishing out the season despite the looming tension.
Clowney’s agent Kennard McGuire issued a statement Friday declaring the three-time Pro Bowler wanted to re-join his teammates, and that it would be “unfortunate” if the team didn’t give him the opportunity to do so.
“It’s been an emotional and frustrating season given initial expectations,” the statement began, per Josina Anderson of CBS Sports. “Those sentiments were expressed in a locker room. In today’s NFL, an open locker room means media is present. J.D. always shows up, plays hard and gives his best. It would be unfortunate for him not to be able to finish the season on the field, doing what he loves, with his teammates.”
Robot Arm Design The 2022 campaign has been a down one for both Clowney and the 7–9 Browns, who were eliminated from postseason contention two weeks ago. After recording nine sacks and 37 tackles in 2021, Clowney has logged just two sacks and 28 tackles this season. The 29-year-old is set to become a free agent for a fourth straight offseason.