NFL free agency began in March but star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned. Clowney appears willing to remain patient, but it is unclear where the defensive end is going to find a deal to his liking as time continues to pass.
The Jets are one of several teams that has been mentioned as a potential landing spot, and the rumors reemerged after the team created a sizable amount of cap space with the release of Trumaine Johnson. ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported that the Jets never had “serious interest” in signing Clowney and that has not changed despite having newfound cap room.
“While the Jets-Clowney speculation has lingered throughout the offseason, the truth is they have never had serious interest — and their position hasn’t changed even with $11 million in cap relief from Johnson,” Cimini explained.
The Browns’ Offer to Clowney May Not be as Lucrative as It Was Originally Perceived
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Clowney declined the “richest offer on the table” from the Browns. This may be a relative term as CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora noted that the Browns’ offer was around $12 million.
“The word throughout the agent community is that the reportedly ‘super lucrative’ deal he turned down from the Cleveland Browns would have been worth $12M at its base,” La Canfora said. “That’s a far cry from the over $20M a year Clowney initially wanted on a long-term deal.”
La Canfora went on to note that he believes the “market has spoken” when it comes to the deals available for Clowney. It is unlikely that Clowney is able to find a more lucrative deal as training camp gets closer unless a team has a change of heart after they are able to have their medical staff visit with him in-person.
“Does Clowney end up getting more than the near $17M that Judon just secured?” La Canfora continued. “I tend to highly doubt it; maybe in the summer, if a top team loses an elite defender to injury. Otherwise, I believe the market has spoken.”
The Seahawks Chances to Re-Sign Clowney Increase the Longer He Stays on the Market
The Seahawks are not considered the favorite to sign Clowney, but the longer the pass rusher remains on the market it is plausible to think Seattle will stay in the hunt. ESPN’s Brady Henderson called the Seahawks re-signing Clowney “unlikely” but refused to rule out the possibility noting the team would likely have to make a few roster moves to bring him back. CBS Sports predicts Clowney will sign with the Titans on a one-year, $16.5 million contract.
Clowney’s injury history, compounded with the restrictions of this offseason, all but ensure he won’t land top dollar on a long-term deal until 2021, at the earliest. So then it comes down to which one-year offer he prefers: Having reportedly already balked at big money from the Browns and turned down offers to return to the Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee just makes the most sense. …and they’re familiar with Clowney from his AFC South past. Clowney, who has experience in the 3-4, would also be closer to home in South Carolina.