Clooney told Cleveland.com Thursday that he was “95% sure” he wouldn’t sign with the Browns again this season due largely to how the franchise compares him to Jarrett. Clowney was sent home before practice on Friday, and it’s not clear if the Browns will play him on Sunday in the regular season finale against Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I just feel like I need to be around someone who believes in me and my abilities,” Clooney said. Via Cleveland.com. “[It can’t] Just believe in myself. I believe in myself more than anyone…you are all trying to get it [Garrett] In the Hall of Fame when all that matters is winning. Everyone came here for a reason, and we can all play together. I know I am.”
Clowney has 28 total tackles and two sacks this season in Cleveland, his second with the franchise. He had nine sacks last year. On the other hand, Garrett has 15 sacks this season – he’s only 2.5 behind Nick BosaLeague MVP 17.5.
While Clowney insisted he didn’t have any personal issues with Garrett, it appears that one has been brewing for a while. Before the Browns fell to the Ravens in October, Clooney knew he would trade sides with Jarrett. This did not satisfy him, and prompted him to refuse to play first or second place.
“We’ve been training all week, coming into the game and they want to move me,” Clooney said. Via Cleveland.com. “I didn’t do it. I’m old. I did my job… I don’t have time for that. I made my money. I do this because I love the game, but keep going.” [doing things like that] And it makes me not like the game.”
It wasn’t until a week later that Garrett realized Clooney was purposely babysitting. Garrett said he “assumed” Clooney was hurt.
“I don’t even think [Garrett] Notices,” Clooney said of the Switches, Via Cleveland.com. “I’m not trying to say it’s him. I’m trying to get along with everyone I play with. He and I don’t have a problem. It’s not his fault.
“It’s just a bachelor’s degree, and I don’t have time for that.”
Garrett Owen Clooney: I want ‘volunteers, not hostages’
Addressing Clooney’s comments on Friday, Garrett said he was disappointed and “a little confused.”
“I knew it was frustrating,” Garrett said. Via ESPN’s Jake Trotter. “We were all so frustrated, we didn’t win. I wish we could have talked about this guy… I wish he would have handled it a little differently.”
As for changing or mixing up the location on the line, Garrett doesn’t see it that way. Per ESPN, he’s actually faced the highest double-team average of any rusher in the league this season—which he believes opens up plenty of opportunities for Clowney to step in and succeed.
“If I’m more of a double-team player, it’s hard to say I get the best face-offs,” Garrett said. via ESPN. “What I’ve done speaks for itself. Of course they’ll put me in positions to make plays. But they’ll also be positions where I’ll double-team. I move all over the line.” [Clowney] Go further. We are both excited to put him in favorable competition. It gets the same look, at least that’s what I see. I wish we could talk about it.”
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski declined to answer several questions about the situation on Friday. Clooney is in the final year of a one-year, $10 million deal with the Browns.
As for whether Garrett wants Clooney back on the team, whether for Sunday’s game or beyond, he said he wouldn’t force anything. He wants volunteers, not hostages.
He said, “If you feel that no one here believes in you, then move to where you feel wanted, loved, and valued.” via ESPN.
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