Patriots Linked Again to Top Free-Agent Edge Rusher: Report

Getty Jadevon Clowney

The New England Patriots-Jadeveon Clowney rumors won’t go away until he signs with another team. Those rumors only gain momentum when the Patriots suddenly find themselves with more than enough cap room to sign the former No. 1 overall pick.

Now that the Patriots again have a ton of money to spend on free agents, Clowney is a popular name associated with the team. According to several publications, the Patriots could be in on Clowney now that the team has had six players opt-out of the 2020 NFL season due to safety and health concerns related to COVID-19.

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Several Publications Linking Patriots to Jadeveon Clowney

The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian wrote:

Stud pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney is still out there, biding his time. He’s an intriguing option who would help soothe the loss of Dont’a Hightower. With an already depleted linebacking corps, losing Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency, the addition of Clowney would stop some of the bleeding. It’s certainly an attractive option for 2020, if the Patriots could pull it off.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic broke down much of the Patriots’ situation on Tuesday afternoon as news of the opt-outs spread. As many know, the Patriots don’t necessarily have a shortage of linebackers. They more have a shortage of experienced players at the positions.

Rookies Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, and second-year players like Chase Winovich will play major roles this year. The same can be said for the newly signed Brandon Copeland and rookies like Caash Maluia, who is technically listed as the next man up behind Hightower.

Howe discussed the possibilities of the Patriots looking outside of the roster to fill the void left by Hightower and others:

If the Patriots choose to look outside the organization, pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney remains the elephant in the room. However, a source said Tuesday morning the Patriots still hadn’t reached out to Clowney’s camp. It seems possible, due to the chaotic morning at Gillette, the Patriots could still contact Clowney once the dust settles and the Patriots receive definitive word on their salary cap situation.

Is Clowney a Fit or the Missing Piece?

Clowney isn’t the only option the Patriots can explore. In fact, he doesn’t even play the same position as Hightower, so signing him still might not resolve the depth issue. However, there is no question a player with Clowney’s versatility would seemingly upgrade the unit overall.

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