Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned two weeks into free agency, but that has not stopped teams around the league from having strong opinions about the pass rusher. As the Seahawks continue to try to iron out a deal, it appears Clowney’s contract demands scared teams away as The Athletic’s Stephen Holder detailed.
But there’s a reason Clowney is still unsigned. League sources have bemoaned Clowney’s significant contract demands. One front-office source said Clowney is hoping to fetch $21 million a year. That’s a ton of cash for a player who has never had more than 9.5 sacks in a single season, even while playing alongside All-Pro J.J. Watt in Houston.
The Seahawks’ exact offer to Clowney has varied across reports. The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar reported that Clowney is unlikely to earn more than $16 million annually if he returns to the Seahawks.
Or, he can take a or two- or three-year deal from the Seahawks (or someone else, probably a contender), earn as much money as possible and try to win a championship while he’s still in his prime.
The latter would be best for the Seahawks, depending on the price tag — realistically, it’s hard to imagine Clowney making more than $16 million per year — and it would help Seattle salvage what has otherwise been an underwhelming start to free agency.
Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith reported that the Seahawks’ offer for a long-term contract would be $18.5 million. Either number is still below the $20 million that Clowney is seeking in a new deal, per ESPN. The one thing that remains clear is that the Seahawks are willing to pay more per season if Clowney agrees to a multi-year contract.
The Titans, Jets & Dolphins Are Among the Teams Reported to Have Made Clowney an Offer
The Seahawks are not the only team attempting to sign Clowney, but so far they appear to be offering the highest salary for a long-term deal. The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell reported that the Jets and Titans are also pursuing Clowney.
Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson noted that Clowney turned down a Dolphins’ offer with an average annual salary of $17 million. Miami was consistently linked to Clowney prior to the Seahawks making a trade for the defensive end last offseason.
“Dolphins discussed $17 million annual average deal at one point in process with Seahawks free agent Jadeveon Clowney, per sources. Didn’t accept, so Dolphins moved on with Shaq Lawson. Clowney aiming for $20 million average, but could wind up signing for less on shorter deal,” Wilson reported on Twitter.
The Seahawks Still Have a Lot of Work to Do to Improve Their Pass Rush
The Seahawks made four new signings to improve their offensive line, but the pass rush remains a work in progress. Seattle was able to bring back Bruce Irvin who started his career with the Seahawks. Irvin is in line to start across from Clowney if the defensive end re-signs with Seattle. Even if the Seahawks sign Clowney, the team still has work to do to improve their pass rush.
The Seahawks were able to re-sign defensive tackle Jarran Reed but the unit struggled even with Clowney being, by far, the most effective pass rusher on the team. Seattle has consistently been linked to a number of different players, including former Vikings’ defensive end Everson Griffen. However, all signs point to the Seahawks getting an answer from Clowney before making their next move.