Training camp has started for teams across the NFL but Jadeveon Clowney has still yet to sign a contract. The Las Vegas Raiders were revealed to be among the teams interested in his services early in July, but haven’t been able to pull off a deal. Clowney played for the Seattle Seahawks last season and they have long been considered the favorites to sign him this offseason. However, according to NFL Network’s Mike Silver, they have finally decided to move on.
The Cleveland Browns were thought to be interested in Clowney but they renegotiated the contract for Oliver Vernon which makes it seems like they are out of the running. The Raiders were once considered a “distant third” in the race for Clowney behind Seattle and Cleveland. With both of them appearing to be out, that could mean Las Vegas is now the favorite to sign him. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders are still interested.
Will the Raiders Pull off a Deal?
Waiting this long was a bad call for Clowney. According to Silver, the Seahawks were once willing to pay him over $15 million a year. The Raiders aren’t likely to give him that much. The former number one overall pick is coming off his weakest season as a pro but he’s still a Pro Bowl level talent.
Jon Gruden is reportedly a big fan and wants to make a deal happen while general manager Mike Mayock is a bit more cautious. Clowney is a decent pass rusher and an excellent run defender. He would certainly bring some talent to the Raiders defense. However, they are short on cash and it’s hard to know how much Clowney will take at this point. If the Raiders could convince him to take a short deal for under $15 million a year, they should pull the trigger on signing him.
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Do the Raiders Have Room for Clowney?
If Clowney was signed, he’d be an upgrade for the defensive line. Now, it’s unclear just how much of an upgrade he’d be. Maxx Crosby put up more sacks in his rookie season than Clowney has in any season in his career. Clelin Ferrell is still a question mark after a disappointing rookie season but he’s put in a ton of work this offseason and already looks better.
The Raiders added Carl Nassib in free agency and he’s a pretty consistent pass rush threat. Also, the jury is still out on Arden Key who recently made it very clear that the Raiders “don’t need no Jadeveon Clowney.” The interest in Clowney does seem a little strange considering the moves the team has made this offseason and last. Perhaps they have plans to move Ferrell on the inside and put Clowney and Crosby on the edges. There are a lot of ways the Raiders can be creative but adding Clowney seems more like a luxury than a necessity.