When the Seattle Seahawks acquired a 26-year old Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans on the first of Septemeber, they believed they’d found the new cornerstone of their post-Legion of Boom defense.
Clowney came out the gates hot, recording a sack in the opening week of play, and then even finding the end-zone on a 27-yard fumble return in Week 4. He also came through for Seattle when they needed him the most, registering a sack and two quarterback pressures in the Wild Card round of the Playoffs.
However, the overall return on investment on Clowney has been less than desirable to this point, making us wonder, could Clowney be suiting up for his third NFL team come next September?
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What Would a Clowney Extension Look Like?
Before we visit the hypothetical of a Clowney and Seahawks divorce, let’s take a look at what it would take for them to renew their vows.
While still in Houston, Clowney was reportedly looking to be compensated in a similar fashion to that of DeMarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark. This means Clowney was looking for a $104-$105 million contract worth around $21+ million per year. Certainly a hefty price for a guy who’s never recorded double-digit sacks in any of his six NFL seasons.
It’s also worth noting that a stipulation in Clowney’s current contract prohibits Seattle from placing the franchise tag on him, meaning either the Seahawks and their defensive end come to terms on a long-term agreement following the season, or he likely walks.
Clowney played in just 13 games for Seattle this season, starting 11, and registering a meager three sacks along the way. He has now played in just 75 of his potential 96 regular-season games as a pro.
Despite the negatives, Clowney has plenty of accolades to bring to the negotiating table. From 2016 through 2018 he finished in the top-10 of the league in tackles for loss. In that 2018 season he was rated as Pro Football Focus’ second-highest graded edge defender. Clowney also has three Pro-Bowl nods under his belt, and at just 26-years of age (27 at the start of next season), his suitors will be lining up with their checkbooks in hand if Seattle opts to move on from the star defender.
Will Seahawks Cut the Check for Clowney?
Clowney was essentially gifted to Seattle from Houston prior to the kick-off of the 2019 campaign. The Seahawks traded away pennies on the dollar to acquire Clowney’s services. On top of that, the Texans paid $7 million of the defender’s $15 million contract this season.
Clowney was a disappointment in his first season in Seattle. However, the chances of this being his last are slim to none. That is, as long as he continues to produce in the postseason.
Seattle has essentially no pass-rush to speak of aside from Clowney. No ‘Hawks defender registered more than four sacks in 2019. While Clowney may never be the double-digit sack maven we expected him to be when he came out of South Carolina, he’s still one of the most disruptive edge-rushers in all of football. That alone makes him worth the money he’ll likely garner this offseason.