The Seattle Seahawks are doing everything they can to keep Jadeveon Clowney on the eve of NFL free agency. The Seahawks are “making attempts” to retain Clowney, but he could still test the NFL free agent waters, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
“Seahawks are making attempts to keep two big defensive pieces, DE Jadeveon Clowney and DT Jarran Reed, per sources. Both very well might end up testing free agency, but Seattle staying involved,” Fowler reported on Twitter.
Jarran Reed joins Clowney as the Seahawks’ two big free agents on their roster, but the defensive tackle is expected to command significantly less than his counterpart given he is coming off a down season. This is a bit of positive news for the Seahawks heading into free agency, but it would be surprising if Clowney does not at least meet with other teams.
The Seahawks Want the Opportunity to Match Any Offer Clowney Receives
The idea of the Seahawks signing Clowney to a long-term contract before the pass rusher hits free agency would be an ideal scenario for Seattle. Seahawks GM John Schneider has been vocal about the team’s desire to have the opportunity to match any offer Clowney receives. This does not necessarily mean they would match the top offer, but the Seahawks want to have the final word at the negotiating table.
“Yeah absolutely [will ask Clowney for the opportunity to match offers],” Schneider noted, per NBC Sports Northwest.
Amidst rumors that Clowney wants to “set the market,” there has been a bit of skepticism that the Seahawks would be willing to give Clowney north of $20 million per season. Schneider implied that this term may be a bit of posturing from Clowney’s representative.
“How do we know what he is looking for [financially]?” Schenider noted to Q13 Fox Seattle. “…He’s an extremely disruptive player. I think everybody would say they would want to set the market, right?…He’s a heck of a player. We were lucky to acquire him. We’re appreciative of Bill O’Brien working with us, getting through that with us.”
The Seahawks Agreed Not to Franchise Tag Clowney
The Seahawks confirmed they made a gentleman’s agreement with Clowney prior to acquiring him in a trade. Seattle promised not to place a franchise tag on Clowney which would allow the Seahawks to retain the pass rusher for another season and the salary is based on two-key factors as Bleacher Report detailed.
The exclusive tag amount is pretty simple to calculate. It’s either an average of the five largest salaries at the offered players’ position at the end of restricted free agency this season, or 120 percent of the offered player’s current salary—whichever is greater.
This will not be an option for the Seahawks when it comes to Clowney as Schneider explained prior to free agency.
“We traded for Jadeveon,” Schneider told Fox Seattle. “Part of our deal with them was we weren’t going to franchise him. I think he liked his experience, our staff knows him. Our trainers, our sports science people know how to take care of him, our strength and conditioning guys [as well]. I think he had a great experience. It’s just going to be a process, right? You know, with his agent, especially down here at the combine. Trying to figure out where his market lies.”