Jadeveon Clowney is heading back to the Cleveland Browns after being rewarded for a healthy 2021 season.

A three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, Clowney's ability has rarely been in question, but he had been limited to just eight games for the Tennessee Titans ahead of joining the Browns last year.

The Browns gave their new signing a one-year year last April worth up to $10million and were duly rewarded with one of the best seasons of his career.

Playing opposite Myles Garrett, Clowney finished with nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 starts – each the second-best returns of his career.

Only Garrett (16) had more sacks for the Browns, and Clowney has done enough to convince the team to invest again for 2022.

According to ESPN, the player is returning on another 12-month deal, this time with a value up to $11m.

The Browns finished a disappointing third in the AFC North at 8-9 in 2021 but will hope to be contenders after trading for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Watson played on the same Houston Texans team as Clowney between 2017 and 2018.

After being released by the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Jarvis Landry has signed with the New Orleans Saints.

Landry, 29, has the third-most receptions and fourth-most targets in the entire NFL since his arrival in 2014.

Drafted in the same year as arguably the best receiver in the league, Davante Adams, Landry has 19 more catches (688 to 669) and 33 more targets (1,045 to 1,012) in just seven more career games (123 to 116).

The five-time Pro Bowler has spent the past four seasons with the Browns after playing his first four years with the Miami Dolphins, but his production tailed off badly in 2021, posting career-lows in games played, targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns as the Browns sputtered.

Landry joins a receiver group in New Orleans consisting of new first-round draft pick Chris Olave, and 2019 Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas, who missed the entire 2021 season with a serious ankle injury but is expected to be back in action at the start of the 2022 campaign.

The Saints also boast one of the best running backs in the NFL in the form of Alvin Kamara, and with quarterback Jameis Winston returning from a torn ACL, new head coach Dennis Allen may have the makings of a well above average offense.

It is a homecoming for Landry, who grew up in Louisiana and attended Louisiana State University.

Denzel Ward will become the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history after agreeing to a five-year contract extension with the Cleveland Browns.

Ward was drafted fourth overall by Cleveland in 2018 and has gone on to make the Pro Bowl on two occasions.

He has played 52 times for the Browns across four seasons with the franchise. He made 34 tackles and three interceptions in the 2021 campaign.

ESPN – citing Tory Dandy of CAA Sports, who negotiated the deal – reported on Monday that Ward had agreed fresh terms with the Browns, with the extension worth $100.5million. Of that, $71.25m is guaranteed.

The 24-year-old's average annual salary of $20.1million moves him above Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams, the previously highest-paid CB in the league.

Ward's new deal runs through the 2027 season though he remains under contract for $13.3m in 2022 after Cleveland exercised their fifth-year option on his old deal.

Ward joined the Browns in the same draft as quarterback Baker Mayfield, but the latter is expected to be traded before the start of the new season.

Baker Mayfield has said he feels "disrespected" by the Cleveland Browns, and insists he is "ready for the next step" in his career.

The number one draft pick from 2018 is under contract for 2022 at $18.9million – fully guaranteed – with Cleveland picking up his fifth-year option last year.

However, the Browns appeared to move on from Mayfield as their starter when trading a significant package of draft picks to the Houston Texans to acquire Deshaun Watson.

The franchise also picked up former Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Josh Dobbs from free agency last week, leaving Mayfield's future in further doubt.

Speaking to the YNK podcast on Wednesday, Mayfield said: “I feel disrespected... I was told one thing and they completely did another."

Mayfield suggested that the Seattle Seahawks were "probably the most likely option" for him after they traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, insisting: "I'm ready for the next chapter.

"I really, truly, honestly have no regrets of my time in Cleveland of what I tried to give to that place. True Clevelanders and true Browns fans know that."

Mayfield arrived in a Browns team that had gone 0-16 the year prior, improving them to 7-8-1 in his first campaign, and taking them to their first playoff victory in 26 years in his third.

However, a difficult 2021 season would follow, suffering a shoulder injury in Week 2 against the Houston Texans, before being booed during the home victory against the Detroit Lions in Week 11.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that I got caught up in all the negativity and stuff during the year last year," he added. "I was trying to be tough and fight through [the injury], but then physically I wasn't as capable of doing what I would normally [do].

"When I wasn't performing on the field, that's when it really started to go downhill. Because I can tough it out, I don't care, I'm not going to complain about it, like everybody is banged up. But then when it started hindering my play and going downhill, that's when I was like, 'oh s***'.

"That's when I started losing my own self-confidence and losing myself. This past year was rough. It was. It was rough on me, my family. It sucked because I knew what I could be doing, but I physically wasn't in a state to do it."

Mayfield had just 17 passing touchdowns to his name (one rushing TD) in the 2021 campaign, his lowest during his four years in Cleveland, though he did end the season with a better pass completion percentage than in 2019 (60.5 to 59.4), as well as throwing fewer interceptions (13) than in either of his first two seasons (14 in 2018, 21 in 2019).  

"I know what I need to do for me to be the best version of me and be able to lead an organisation," he added. "I'm in a good place right now."

The Cleveland Browns have signed backup quarterback Josh Dobbs to a one-year deal as the situation with starter Baker Mayfield remains foggy.

Mayfield has requested a trade away from the Browns, but it is reported the franchise has no intention of dealing the former number one draft pick prior to this year's NFL Draft.

The franchise have moved on from Mayfield as their starter, trading a massive package of draft picks to the Houston Texans to acquire Deshaun Watson, and the signing of Dobbs – reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter – may indicate there is no intention to force Mayfield into a backup role.

It is understandable why the Browns would be hesitant to part ways with their primary signal-caller for a weak trade offer, as they went 0-16 in the season before he arrived, and have won no fewer than six games in the four seasons with Mayfield under center, including an 11-5 season and a trip to the playoffs in 2020.

After trading away three first round picks, plus two more later round picks, the Browns will be hoping a quarterback-hungry team comes calling on draft night as there is arguably no quarterback prospect in this year's class who profiles as a better prospect than Mayfield.

Dobbs has only attempted 17 passes in the NFL since being drafted in the fourth round in 2017, and has never started a professional game.

Jerry Jones has explained Amari Cooper's trade to the Cleveland Browns, claiming the Dallas Cowboys' salary cap could be "better spent" elsewhere.

Cooper signed a five-year, $100million contract extension with the Cowboys in 2020, coming off four Pro Bowl appearances in his first five seasons in the NFL.

But the wide receiver struggled to live up to that salary, which made him the highest-paid player at his position in 2021.

Cooper's $22m accounted for 10.5 per cent of the Cowboys' cap, with only defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence taking up more.

Despite that, Cooper ranked just 30th among receivers for catches (68) and receiving yards (865) and tied 12th for receiving touchdowns (eight).

Heading into 2022, Jones and the Cowboys pondered the merits of committing league-leading money to a player they were targeting with just 104 passes last year – tied for 32nd at his position.

"To be fair, we let Cooper go down the road," Jones explained. "That was our decision.

"That wasn't made to depreciate the team. At the end of the day, it is a financial allocation toward the talent, and you've got to consider availability, and that sometimes departs from the best route runner.

"We had to look hard at the 10 or 11 players who are getting two-thirds of the money. We have to make sure every one those players are pulling as much weight as you can, because of the economic emphasis. That is a big part of what's on the field.

"How much were they there, how many snaps they get, how much production did you get. That is always going to be under scrutiny. It should be."

Ultimately, Jones said, the Cowboys "made a decision that that allocation should be better spent".

Cowboys fans might still have hoped to get more in return for a player for whom they parted with a first-round draft pick – which became safety Johnathan Abram – in a 2018 trade with the then Oakland Raiders.

The Browns sent a fifth-round 2022 selection to Dallas, along with a pick swap in the sixth round.

"We made every effort to do as well as we can do with the trade," Jones said.

Baker Mayfield is still waiting to learn where he will play next season, with the Cleveland Browns so far unable to agree a trade for their former starting quarterback.

Mayfield remains on the Browns roster, despite the team trading for Deshaun Watson and also bringing in a new back-up in Jacoby Brissett.

That leaves a former first overall pick with a fully guaranteed $18.9million salary set to sit on the sideline in 2022.

It is anticipated Mayfield will ultimately leave the Browns and find a home elsewhere, but he and the team are having to stay patient.

Coach Kevin Stefanski explained: "I think everyone understands the situation and we're hoping that it is resolved soon.

"It's a unique situation. We've got to see how it plays out. I think all of us would love an answer yesterday, but that's not the reality of it."

Mayfield has been the Browns' starter since he was selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, making 59 starts (60 games) in four seasons.

It looked as though Mayfield was going to deliver on his promise after the 2020 season, in which he tossed only eight interceptions to his 26 touchdown passes and led the 11-5 Browns to the Divisional Round and a narrow loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

But there was regression in an injury-plagued 2021, with Mayfield's 13 picks meaning his career total of 56 is the highest in the league across the past four seasons.

The Browns instead controversially turned to Watson, as Mayfield requested a trade.

Deshaun Watson's presentation as the Cleveland Browns' new quarterback was dominated by questions around allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.

Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits, although two grand juries have now concluded there was not enough evidence for criminal proceedings.

The allegations, which emerged last year, overshadowed the player's attempts to secure a trade away from the Houston Texans, instead sitting on the sideline for the entire 2021 NFL season.

Watson eventually got his move after a first grand jury did not indict him, landing on the Browns.

The 26-year-old, appearing alongside Browns general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski on Friday, described the opportunity as "a fresh start".

However, he also recognises "there's going to be a stain that's probably going to stick with me for a while".

Indeed, despite Watson discussing a belief he could win Super Bowls in Cleveland, most news conference queries centred on matters away from the field.

Watson said he did not intend to settle the civil lawsuits, explaining: "That's not my intent. My intent is to clear my name as much as possible."

And the QB continues to strenuously deny the allegations made against him.

"I don't have any regrets," Watson said. "The things that are off the field right now that came up caught me by surprise, because I never did anything that these people are alleging.

"And I know a lot of people say that I took the year off and I used that to be able to clear my name, like the previous two weeks, and I just continue to fight that.

"I just continue to work and become a better person, a better player and just a better son, like my mom has always taught me."

Meanwhile, Berry would not speculate on whether he thought there was any wrongdoing by Watson, responding to such a question: "We feel very confident in Deshaun the person.

"We have a lot of faith in him and we believe that as he gets into the community and our organisation, he's going to make a positive impact."

Deshaun Watson was not charged by a second grand jury after it considered evidence of sexual assault and misconduct allegations.

The Cleveland Browns quarterback faces 22 civil lawsuits.

However, earlier in March, Harris County jurors did not find enough evidence for criminal proceedings, and Watson was again not indicted on Thursday after a Brazoria County grand jury also assessed the case.

"After a careful and thorough review of the facts and evidence documented in the reports prepared by the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office and the Houston Police Department, as well as hearing testimony from witnesses, the grand jury for Brazoria County has declined to charge Deshaun Watson with any crimes," Brazoria County District Attorney Tom Selleck said in a statement.

"Accordingly, this matter is closed."

Watson has strenuously denied the accusations since they emerged last year, overshadowing his attempts to push for a trade away from the Houston Texans.

He got his move to Cleveland after the first grand jury did not charge him.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said last week: "Our organisation did a tremendous amount of background on Deshaun.

"We understand the concerns and questions that exist but are confident in the extensive work Andrew [Berry, executive vice-president of football operations and general manager] and his staff have done to feel confident about him joining our organisation."

Kevin Stefanski is confident the Cleveland Browns have done their homework on Deshaun Watson after the quarterback's trade was confirmed on Sunday.

Watson agreed to waive his no-trade clause to allow the Houston Texans to deal him to the Browns.

The 26-year-old seemed to have narrowed down his options to join either the Atlanta Falcons or the New Orleans Saints, but is instead bound for Cleveland. Houston will receive a first-round pick for this year, 2023 and 2024, along with a third-round pick for 2023 and a fourth-round selection for 2024.

A bidding war for Watson materialised when he was not charged by a grand jury earlier this month, after it considered evidence of sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him.

Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits, but the grand jury did not find enough evidence for criminal proceedings. He has strenuously denied the accusations since they emerged last year, overshadowing his previous request to be traded away from the Texans.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Browns have agreed to give Watson a fully guaranteed five-year, $230million contract. That figure is $80m more than the previous record for fully guaranteed money at signing.

Browns head coach Stefanski believes Watson will be a shrewd acquisition.

Stefanski said: "Our organisation did a tremendous amount of background on DeShaun.

"We understand the concerns and questions that exist but are confident in the extensive work Andrew [Berry, executive vice-president of football operations and general manager] and his staff have done to feel confident about him joining our organisation.

"It was important for us to meet with Deshaun in person as part of our team's evaluation process, we had a candid conversation regarding his approach to coming into our organisation and community.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to coach Deshaun, he is ready to put in the hard work needed to help our team improve and make a positive impact in our community."

The 26-year-old Watson did not play a single game in 2021, having led the NFL in passing yards in 2020.

The Browns also confirmed on Sunday that Case Keenum has been traded to the Buffalo Bills for a 2022 seventh-round pick.

Watson's arrival will clear the way for the Browns to move former first-round pick Baker Mayfield, who has requested a trade.

The Houston Texans confirmed the trade of Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns on Friday.

For Watson and their 2024 fifth-round pick, the Texans will receive a haul of draft picks in return, consisting of the Browns' three future first-round picks, the 2023 third-round and 2024 fourth-round picks.

After consecutive four-win seasons in 2020 and 2021, Texans general manager Nick Caserio asserted the trade is one that will solidify roster foundations.

"I felt it was the right move for our organisation as we head into the new league year focused on building our roster for the 2022 season," he said in a statement.

"Our priority right now is adding to the foundation we have already put in place over the last 15 months and this trade supports that plan."

According to ESPN's Ian Rapaport, Watson and the Browns have agreed to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230million contract, smashing the previous record for guaranteed money in the NFL by $80m.

The bidding war for Watson came upon the news he was not charged by a United States grand jury, after considering evidence of sexual assault and misconduct against him.

Watson still faces 22 civil lawsuits, but the grand jury ruled there was insufficient evidence for criminal proceedings.

Texans CEO Cal McNair was full of praise for his GM on his handling of the trade amid the scandal.

"I'm extremely proud of the way Nick Caserio navigated us through this challenging situation," he said.

"He remained patient before ultimately making the decision that is best for us in the long and short term."

Deshaun Watson has agreed to waive his no-trade clause to allow the Houston Texans to deal him to the Cleveland Browns.

Watson had appeared to have narrowed his choices down to the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints in his search to find a new team as his time with the Texans comes to an end.

The Browns who, along with the Falcons, Saints and Carolina Panthers, had met with Watson, had previously been reported to be out of the running.

However, on Friday ESPN's Adam Schefter and NFL Network each reported that Watson had changed his mind, instead electing to join the Browns, from whom he will receive a record-breaking new contract.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Browns have agreed to give Watson a fully guaranteed five-year, $230million contract. That figure is $80m more than the previous record for fully guaranteed money at signing.

The Texans, meanwhile, are set to receive five draft picks, including three first-rounders, in exchange for Watson.

Watson's arrival will clear the way for the Browns to move former first-round pick Baker Mayfield, the quarterback who himself this week requested a trade.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has officially requested a trade, saying "the relationship is too far gone to mend".

Mayfield has been with the Browns since being selected with the number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, after the team had finished with a record of 0-16 the prior year.

In the four years since arriving in Cleveland, the Browns have won no fewer than six games in each season, including an 11-5 campaign in 2020 that produced the franchise's first playoff appearance in 18 years.

Speaking with ESPN's Adam Schefter, Mayfield, added: "It is in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on."

The request comes just days after Mayfield made a lengthy social media post thanking the city of Cleveland as he referenced "uncertainties", while adding there was no hidden meaning or firm decision to leave.

It is reported that Mayfield's preferred destination would be the Indianapolis Colts, however, he might not have it his way as the Browns are initially "not accommodating his request", per ESPN's Jake Trotter.

The Colts have a competitive roster with a clear need at QB having traded Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders.

Mayfield's post and subsequent trade request follows reports that the Browns met with Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson about his interest in joining the organisation, before ultimately getting rebuffed. 

Reports after that development suggested Cleveland's preference was to continue with Mayfield, who struggled with a shoulder injury last year, as their starting QB for the 2022 season.

But while the choice to go public will apply pressure to the Browns to get a deal done, Mayfield is ultimately under contract.

With no replacement lined up, it is unlikely Cleveland - who traded for wide receiver Amari Cooper this offseason - are willing to head into week one without an established, quality starter. 

Baker Mayfield has cast doubt over his future with the Cleveland Browns amid reports that Deshaun Watson might be about to join the team.

Watson requested a trade from the Houston Texans over a year ago and, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, was set to meet with the Browns on Tuesday.

The Atlanta Falcons are also said to be interested in Watson, who did not feature at all in 2021 due to disagreements with the front office in Houston and accusations of sexual misconduct.

Last week, a Texas court grand jury did not find enough evidence for Watson to be charged with a crime following these allegations, though the 26-year-old still faces 22 civil lawsuits and remains under NFL investigation.

However, the three-time Pro Bowler seems a viable target for the Browns, who failed to make the playoffs last season, and Mayfield could make way.

It was a particularly frustrating campaign for Mayfield, who threw for 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns, both career-lows.

His pass completion percentage dropped from 62.8 in 2020 to 60.5, as he also battled a lingering shoulder problem for which he eventually needed surgery, missing the final game of the season as a result.

On Tuesday, Mayfield revealed he was uncertain about what the immediate future would be, but despite his insistence to the contrary, his message to Cleveland fans felt like something of a farewell.

"Cleveland," read the statement, which was posted to Mayfield's official Twitter account.

"The past four years have been nothing short of truly life-changing since I heard my name called in the draft to go to Cleveland. This is not a message with hidden meaning. This is strictly to thank the city of Cleveland for embracing my family and me.

"We have made many memories and shared growing in this process through all the ups and downs. I have no clue what happens next, which is the meaning behind the silence I have had during the duration of this process. I can only control what I can, which is trusting in God's plan throughout this process.

"I have given the franchise everything I have. That is something I've always done at every stage, and at every level. And that will not change wherever I take my next snap.

"Whatever happens, I just want to say thank you to the fans who truly embraced who I am and the mentality that aligned so well with this city's hard-working people.

"Cleveland will always be a part of Emily's and my story. And we will always be thankful for the impact it has had and will have in our lives."

Mayfield enjoyed a brilliant maiden season in 2018, throwing a then-NFL rookie record of 27 touchdown passes, which he has not bettered since.

The Cleveland Browns have released five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry, the franchise confirmed on Monday.

The Browns agreed a deal for Amari Cooper from the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday and had permitted Landry to seek a trade.

However, no deal was forthcoming for the 29-year-old, who was due to make $14.3million in base salary, and so he has been granted his release.

It is expected to clear $14.9m in cap space for the Browns, and cost around $1.5m in dead cap.

Landry had a frustrating 2021, playing just 12 games due to injuries and contracting COVID-19, making two touchdowns and catching 52 passes for a season total of 570 yards.

However, he was otherwise a near ever-present for Cleveland since arriving from the Miami Dolphins in 2018, making more than 80 receptions in each of his first two seasons and receiving for a total of 1,174 yards in 2019.

Arguably his finest game for the Browns came in the 40-25 win over the Baltimore Ravens in that season as he made eight catches for 167 yards, the best single game numbers of his career.

Speaking to the Browns' website, executive vice president and GM Andrew Berry said: "The trade for Jarvis Landry in 2018 was a key moment for our organisation.

"Jarvis' on-field production and fiery competitiveness speaks for itself, but his leadership and team-oriented attitude impacted our culture in a way that will last in time even beyond his release. These decisions are always difficult, but we wish Jarvis well and we look forward to the day when he returns as a storied Browns alumnus."

Landry's best career season came in 2017 with Miami as he led the league with 112 receptions.

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