Jadeveon Clowney Explains Why He Signed With Panthers

Jadeveon Clowney, Carolina Panthers
NFL Analysis Network

You would have thought Jadeveon Clowney would have wanted to sign with a contender, but instead, he opted to sign a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Why? Because he wanted to go home.

Clowney grew up in Rock Hill, S.C. and always wanted to play for the Panthers, who play just up the road in Charlotte.

But he wanted to make sure he was ready to return to his old stomping grounds.

“I used to just watch them on TV all the time and say I can’t wait till I get my opportunity to do that one day,” Clowney said, via Darin Gantt of the Panthers’ official team website. “Years ago, when I hit free agency, I told my agent not to reach out to Carolina because I wanted to mature more. And to get to this point where I know if I have to go back there, I can handle myself, and it won’t be a problem for me to do my job because I was still learning how to be a pro. So now I’m 31. I said I’m at the age now where I’m cool going back home; I can handle myself.”

Clowney, who played his collegiate football at the University of South Carolina, was originally selected by the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

He spent the first five years of his career with the Texans but didn’t really break through until his third season when he registered 52 tackles and six sacks. He proceeded to make three straight trips to the Pro Bowl between 2016 and 2018, with his best campaign coming in 2017 when he racked up 59 tackles, 9.5 sacks, a couple of forced fumbles, a pair of fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.

Clowney is now on his fifth team since then, as he has also played for the Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

He spent the 2023 season with the Ravens, registering an impressive 43 tackles and 9.5 sacks.

The Panthers traded fellow edge rusher Brian Burns to the New York Giants earlier this month, so bringing in Clowney will certainly help their pass rush.

“It’s going crazy right now back in Rock Hill,” Clowney said. “All these Carolina fans down the road, and I grew up like 30 minutes from here, so it’s going to be crazy.”

We’ll see if Jadeveon Clowney has a little extra juice in front of his hometown fans next season.

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