Panthers land Jadeveon Clowney on 2-year, $20 million deal after resurgent year with Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 05: Jadeveon Clowney #24 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on after a play against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on November 5, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Jadeveon Clowney looked like a new man in Baltimore. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Jadeveon Clowney re-established his value with the Baltimore Ravens, and the Carolina Panthers are paying up.

The Panthers confirmed Wednesday they are signing the veteran pass-rusher in free agency, with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reporting the deal to be for two years and $20 million with a maximum value of $24 million.

Clowney is a South Carolina native and will now play about 25 miles from his hometown of Rock Hill.

Seven months ago, Clowney was signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Ravens after a free agency that extended into training camp. The former No. 1 overall pick was coming off one of the worst seasons of his career with 28 tackles and two sacks in 12 games for the Cleveland Browns.

At age 30, Clowney's future was unclear. He proceeded to provide plenty of clarity over the coming months as a vital part of an elite Ravens front seven, tying a career-high in sacks while continuing to be a strong run-stuffer. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 19 edge defender out of 112 in the NFL.

The Ravens finished the season with an NFL-high 60 sacks, and Clowney's ability to generate pressure was a pivotal reason why.

The Ravens, who have lost a number of players to free agency this offseason due to a lack of salary cap space, were interested in bringing Clowney back. The feeling was apparently mutual, per head coach John Harbaugh:

“I just ran into the agent for Jadeveon Clowney,” Harbaugh told’s Garrett Downing in an interview at the combine. “Just walking in the street and he grabbed me and I said, I told him I loved him. I [asked], ‘What do you think? How’d he do this year?’ And he goes, ‘This is the first year he’s ended the season happy.’ That says so much right there. It says so much for everything, for everybody in the organization. Maybe we can get him back. We’re going to try.”

Instead, Clowney opted to head home and be well-compensated while doing so. He joins a Panthers team coming off a disappointing first season with last year's top overall pick, quarterback Bryce Young.

The Panthers hired Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales to replace the fired Frank Reich, with Ejiro Evero remaining as defensive coordinator. The team has been busy on the player side as well, acquiring wide receiver Diontae Johnson, guard Robert Hunt, guard Damien Lewis, linebacker Josey Jewell and defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson.