Carolina Panthers agree to terms with Jadeveon Clowney to bolster pass rush

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have bolstered their pass rush, agreeing to terms on Wednesday with veteran free agent Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft.

Clowney agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract worth up to $24 million with incentives, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the team did not release contract details.

This will be a homecoming for Clowney, who grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, about 20 minutes from where the Panthers play their home games.

The 31-year-old Clowney is coming off a strong season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2023, where he had 9 1/2 sacks and will play outside linebacker in Carolina’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Clowney spent his first five years with the Houston Texans, and has moved around quite a bit since with stops in Seattle, Tennessee, and Cleveland and Baltimore. He has 52 1/2 sacks during his career.

Clowney helps offset the loss of outside linebacker Brian Burns, who was traded to the New York Giants earlier this offseason. Carolina managed a league-low 27 sacks last season.

Clowney is expected to be paired opposite pass rusher D.J. Wonnum, who signed earlier this offseason from the Minnesota Vikings. The Panthers have also added free agent pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson.

The Panthers also announced they’ve re-signed safety Sam Franklin, who led the team in special teams tackles the past two seasons.

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AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.

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