Last week, Clowney stated that the Cleveland Browns favored Garrett, forcing him to move around the defense to accommodate Garrett, and that “it’s just B.S., and I don’t have time for it.” Clowney was deactivated for the regular-season finale after the comments.
Clowney did the predictable thing this week, apologizing but also saying his comments were taken out of context. It seemed like the context was accurate given how Clowney went on about the issues he had, but the apology part is easier to buy.
“As a son and parent I want to fully apologize to anyone I offended, specifically Myles Garrett and his family,” Clowney said, according to the Associated Press. “As a man I have reached out to Myles specifically to apologize. I will continue to learn and grow as a I move forward.”
As a losing Browns season neared its end, Clowney vented about not feeling appreciated to Cleveland.com.
“We practiced all week, and we get in the game and they want to move me,” Clowney said, via Cleveland.com. “I’m not doing that. I’m old. I’ve done my job … I don’t have time for that. I’ve made my money. I’m doing this because I love the game, but keep [doing things like that] and making me not love the game.”
He also said he needed "to be around somebody that believes in me and my ability." Clowney will be a free agent this offseason after signing a one-year deal with Cleveland.
It was a bit odd that Clowney's issue came from the Browns moving around Garrett, considering Garrett is one of the best defensive players in football. Coaches often move around their best player to get mismatches, and others have to adjust. Teams should favor players like Garrett. Garrett said after the original comments that he wished Clowney would have talked to him about it, but also said he wanted “volunteers, not hostages” on the Browns.
Jadeveon Clowney says he was taken out of context, writer says full context was given
In addition to saying he apologized to Garrett, Clowney said his comments were “completely misrepresented” and “taken out of context," the AP said.
The outlet that originally published the quotes, Cleveland.com, soon responded with a statement from its sports manager and longtime Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot. Both journalists said the full context of Clowney's quotes were provided and that Cabot had actually asked Clowney if he was fine with running the quotes, to which he allegedly said yes.
“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,” David Campbell, Sports Manager of Cleveland.com, 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.”
“During our nine-minute long, one-on-one interview, I asked Jadeveon if he was OK with me writing what he said and he said yes,” Cabot said.
“During the interview, he expressed his unhappiness with being given tougher matchups at various points during the season and stated he only played third downs against Baltimore because of it. His own defensive line coach, Chris Kiffin, confirmed this during a media session last week. The story accurately represented his feelings and I did not take him out of context in any way, shape or form.”
Clowney, who is 29 years old, will be looking for a new contract this offseason. It's probably safe to assume it won't come from the Browns.