Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney* walked back his negative comments on Friday about the team’s defensive strategy and teammate Myles Garrett.
On January 5, Clowney voiced his frustrations about a down season to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, claiming that the Browns intentionally put Clowney in unfavorable matchups in an effort to showcase defensive end Myles Garrett:
“You’re all trying to get somebody into the Hall of Fame when all that matters is winning. Everybody got here for a reason, and we can all make plays. I know I am. Let’s say it. Let’s be honest. (It seems to me) they don’t want me to outplay nobody.”
Those comments led the Browns to send Clowney home the following day and then place him on the inactive list for the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Today, Clowney issued a statement through ESPN’s Adam Schefter apologizing to Garrett and claiming that it was all some sort of misunderstanding.
Browns’ DE Jadeveon Clowney apologized to Myles Garrett for his comments last week and issued this statement: pic.twitter.com/QTJYO2HK8L— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2023
The statement reads:
“As a son and a parent, I want to fully apologize to anyone I offended, specifically Myles Garrett and his family. My words in the locker room were not only taken out of context but completely misrepresented. As a man, I have reached out to Myles specifically to apologize. I will continue to learn and grow as I move forward.”
Early Friday evening, cleveland.com issued a statement in support of Cabot’s reporting, with David Campbell, sports manager of the site, saying that:
“Jadeveon Clowney’s comments last week in his one-on-one interview with Mary Kay were quoted verbatim and were an exact and accurate representation of what he said. In fact, the key points of Clowney’s complaints were later corroborated by other Browns players and coaches. The context really could not have been any fuller.”
Clowney is due to be a free agent after playing two seasons with the Browns. If the team had any interest in bringing him back, it probably died when his comments were made public.
Now, coming off a season where he only played 12 games, refused to play on first or second down in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, and finished with two sacks and 28 tackles, Clowney or someone close to him possibly realized he should do some damage control to ward off any issues in finding a new team.
*Maybe that should read “soon-to-be-former Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney”?