Panthers reach deal with pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney

What Jadeveon Clowney brings to the Panthers' pass rush (1:03)

Check out the key Jadeveon Clowney stats behind his contact agreement with the Panthers. (1:03)

Free agent pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney has agreed to a contract with the Carolina Panthers, the team announced Wednesday.

Terms were not disclosed but sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Clowney agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract that can be worth up to $24 million.

Clowney will receive bonuses for reaching 8, 10 and 12 sacks in each season, a league source told ESPN's David Newton.

For Clowney, this is a homecoming. He is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, about 25 minutes south of Charlotte where he starred at South Pointe High School. He also attended the University of South Carolina, about 90 minutes south of Charlotte.

Clowney was the top pick of the 2014 draft by the Houston Texans.

For the Panthers, this fills a huge need after they traded two-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Brian Burns to the New York Giants.

They signed D.J. Wonnum and K'Lavon Chaisson during free agency, with Chaisson brought in more as a project and Wonnum a projected starter. But neither of those players is a proven pass-rusher like Clowney. The Panthers finished last in the NFL last season with 27 sacks.

Besides the Panthers, Clowney received interest from the New York Jets, visiting the team last week.

Clowney, 31, got his career back on track last year, becoming one of the bigger surprises on the Baltimore Ravens with his pass rush and durability. He proved he can still impact games by getting to the quarterback with 9.5 sacks, which tied a career high. In the AFC Championship Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Clowney recorded a sack in helping Baltimore shut out Patrick Mahomes in the second half.

The Ravens signed Clowney to a one-year, $2.5 million contract last year on the final day of training camp because they needed experienced depth at pass-rusher. He then earned $2.75 million in incentives by exceeding nine sacks and participating in over 60% of Baltimore's snaps on defense. In a career filled with injuries, Clowney played in 19 games for Baltimore last season (including playoffs), which is only the second time he's suited up for every game in a season.

Clowney was not heavily pursued in free agency last year because of a tumultuous exit from the Cleveland Browns in 2022. He was ruled out of the final regular-season game after he was quoted as saying the Browns were more worried about getting individual accolades for Myles Garrett than winning games. Clowney later said those comments were never on the record.

Clowney is a three-time Pro Bowl player who has totaled 363 tackles, 52.5 sacks and 15 forced fumbles in 10 seasons. After spending his first five seasons with the Texans, he has played for four teams in his last five seasons (the Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Browns and Ravens).

ESPN's Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.