It’s Jadeveon Clowney. And it’s the opinion of Skip Bayless, who’s chosen this particular hill on which to die.
In an all-caps Twitter missive, the controversial FS1 analyst and long-suffering Cowboys fan strongly urged Jerry Jones to bring aboard the free-agent pass-rusher on an incentive-filled, short-term contract — and bring the Lombardi back to North Texas.
“JERRY JONES: PLEASE SIGN CLOWNEY TO A “CAM DEAL” – 1 YEAR, INCENTIVE-LADEN, GET-MAD-AND-SHOW-‘EM SHOWCASE OPPORTUNITY FOR AMERICA’S TEAM,” Bayless tweeted Monday. “WIN A SUPER BOWL IN DALLAS, THEN HIT THE FREE-AGENT MARKET AGAIN. CLOWN THE NFL BY SIGNING CLOWNEY, JERRY.”
JERRY JONES: PLEASE SIGN CLOWNEY TO A "CAM DEAL" – 1 YEAR, INCENTIVE-LADEN, GET-MAD-AND-SHOW-'EM SHOWCASE OPPORTUNITY FOR AMERICA'S TEAM. WIN A SUPER BOWL IN DALLAS, THEN HIT THE FREE-AGENT MARKET AGAIN. CLOWN THE NFL BY SIGNING CLOWNEY, JERRY.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 29, 2020
Bayless’ remarks are an apparent response to recent hearsay alleging Clowney wants to join the Cowboys — he also is interested in playing for the Saints — and would consider taking less money to facilitate his wish.
“I was told the two teams on top of Clowney’s list, as far as where he would like to end up, are the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints,” NFL insider Tony Pauline reported last week on his podcast. “He would definitely help both of those teams. Both of them are a little bit cap-strapped; the Saints have less than $9 million, the Cowboys about $11.2 million. I don’t think either of that is going to be enough to bring Clowney in. They would have to do some significant maneuvering of salary in order to bring him in for a year if, in fact, those teams want him. I don’t know that they want him. I know Clowney wouldn’t mind ending up with the Cowboys or the Saints, from what I’m told.”
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Cam’s Deal in Context
According to reports, New England landed the former Panthers signal-caller for the “bare minimum.” While specifics of his agreement have yet to be announced, Newton can earn up to $7.5 million this coming season if he unlocks incentives likely tied to playing time and wins.
That type of cash won’t cut it for Clowney, who’s languished on the open market after failing to draw an exorbitant payday — a $20 million annual demand. He reportedly has since lowered his asking price to around $17-18 million per year and received offers from suitors such as the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns.
Based on what Pauline gathered, as pertains to Clowney’s criteria, it’s probable he returns to his 2019 employer, the Seattle Seahawks, or agrees to a potential prove-it contract with the Titans.
“What I’m told is right now — by people in his camp — that Clowney would be just as happy signing a one-year deal with a playoff-contending team versus signing a three-year deal with a middle-of-the-road franchise,” Pauline said. “If he can get a decent one-year deal from a team that was in the playoffs, a team that he could help take to the next level, I’m told, he would be very happy to do that.”
Don’t Get Your Hopes Up, Skip
Even if Dallas shared a mutual interest in Clowney, they’re currently hamstrung by several bloated contracts and cap charges, including the $31.4 million hit from QB Dak Prescott, the cost of his exclusive franchise tag.
Assuming the team worked out a long-term arrangement with Prescott, significantly reducing his cap figure, the brain trust could possibly make a run at Clowney, who’d slide in as a lethal bookend to $105 million man DeMarcus Lawrence. Provided he’s still available by this point.
Then again, the three-time Pro Bowler would represent a luxury addition to a Cowboys outfit that did well to replace 2019 sack leader Robert Quinn. The club signed veteran defensive linemen Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe and edge defender Aldon Smith, retained starting DL Tyrone Crawford and Antwaun Woods, and used a third-round draft selection on defensive end Neville Gallimore.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL