The New England Patriots have newfound cap space after settling a dispute with Antonio Brown which has caused some speculation that the team would pursue Jadeveon Clowney. During an interview on the Pat McAfee Show, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport discussed Clowney’s mindset and explained why the pass rusher is unlikely to sign with the Patriots.
“I think Clowney wants to get paid…Clowney is basically thinking, ‘Where can I get paid as much as possible and if I don’t have to go to training camp for a lot of it, ah, that will probably be okay,'” Rapoport explained. “Remember, he did that last year and made $15 million in late-August, early-September, I forgot when it was and that worked out fine. I mean, I think for him, it’s like, ‘Why would I not do the same?’ Also, do you think he missed anything in the spring? He missed some Zoom meetings. …I think Clowney would just like to make a lot of money. I know he wants a one-year deal. I don’t think he would take just a little tiny deal from the Patriots.”
Even with the cap space, the Patriots are unlikely to give Clowney a sizable deal. New England has traditionally prioritized interior pass rushers over defensive ends.
The Seahawks’ Odds to Re-Sign Clowney May Be Increasing
As Rapoport indicated, Clowney does not appear to be in a hurry to sign with a team. If anything, we could see Clowney try to avoid as much of training camp as possible. None of this is necessarily bad news for the Seahawks as The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta detailed.
“Still waiting in the wings and available to pounce, with the odds likely increasing he plays another year in Seattle with every other option that falls through,” Condotta noted. “No, Seattle isn’t going to offer Clowney $15-16 million a year or so as it originally did. But the Seahawks can still offer a one-year deal that would allow Clowney to return to a place he feels comfortable and maybe set himself up for another run at free agency in 2021 (with everything these days written with the caveats that things at some point will be normal).”
The Browns Are Likely Out of the Running to Sign Clowney
The Browns are one of the teams that has most frequently been linked to Clowney. With the Browns restructuring Oliver Vernon’s deal, all indications are Cleveland is no longer in the running to sign the pass rusher. Pro Football Talk Michael Smith reported that the Browns are “unlikely to continue pursuing Clowney.”
“After the Browns agreed to a renegotiated contract with Olivier Vernon, a league source told PFT that Cleveland is unlikely to continue pursuing Clowney, whom they had previously shown interest in signing,” Smith explained. “…It’s possible that the Browns wanted Clowney but his price was too high. It’s also possible that the Browns were expressing interest in Clowney primarily because they wanted to squeeze Vernon into taking a pay cut.”
As Seahawks fans continue the long-running Clowney watch, rumors of the pass rusher heading to the Patriots appear to be short-lived. With training camp less than two weeks away, it will be interesting to see if Clowney makes any significant moves before August.