The Las Vegas Raiders decided to make the Jadeveon Clowney free agency more interesting when it was reported that they were among the teams trying to sign him. The Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns have been the teams most often mentioned in the Clowney sweepstakes but the Raiders now seem like they are real players. As Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal pointed out, the Browns’ recent move to restructure Olivier Vernon’s contract could mean they are out of the running for Clowney.
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) July 7, 2020
If Cleveland is out, that means the Raiders’ chances to sign him just went up. Clowney went into the offseason hoping to make $20 million a season. No team seems interested in paying him anywhere close to that, which is why he’s been a free agent for so long. Las Vegas isn’t about to give him huge money, but they’ll give him something which is more than what most of the NFL is offering him.
Raiders Insider Confirms Team Has Made Offer
The original report that the Raiders made Clowney came from Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan in Denver. The report has now been verified by Raiders insiders for The Athletic Tashan Reed and Vic Tafur:
Roughly 15 months after drafting second-year defensive end Clelin Ferrell fourth in the NFL Draft, the Raiders are seeking additional help on the edge. Las Vegas has made an offer to free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, according to league sources, but is in a “distant” third place.
If the Browns are out on Clowney, that could put Las Vegas in second place. Seattle probably is still the favorite to land the former Pro Bowler due to the fact that he played there last year and they are likely offering him more money now. That said, the Raiders could up their offer and become serious contenders.
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Can Never Have Too Many Good Defenders
Many Raider fans point to the fact that Clowney doesn’t have great sack numbers as a reason why the team shouldn’t try to sign him. While his sack numbers weren’t very good last year, he has a decent track record of being able to get to the quarterback. He’s also an excellent run defender.
No, Clowney isn’t worth anything close $20 million a year, but if the Raiders could him for less than $15 million a year he’d be a good addition. The team used a very high draft pick on Clelin Ferrell just last year. Trying to sign Clowney probably means they aren’t supremely confident in his ability to be a difference-maker. That said, it doesn’t mean they’ve already given up on him. Signing Clowney wouldn’t mean Ferrell’s career in silver and black is over. It just gives the Raiders more weapons to try and slow down the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense.
The team had strong run defense last year and adding a player like Clowney might get them to the next level. He may not be the sack artist that many Raiders fans would prefer, but he’s a well-rounded defender when healthy and could be an impact player.