Jets Snubbed by $20 Million Free Agent in Favor of Panthers

Jadeveon Clowney

Getty The New York Jets lost out on Jadeveon Clowney, who has instead signed with the Panthers.

The New York Jets were hopeful that they’d be able to sign free agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney. The 31-year-old has instead decided to see what he can do with the Carolina Panthers.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport posted on X on Wednesday, March 27, that Clowney was signing with the Panthers. He also added that the deal would be a two-year contract worth up to $24 million.

The Jets had previously been viewed as “highly motivated” to sign Clowney after the two sides met this offseason. Instead, the three-time Pro Bowler has decided to be a part of a rebuild on a Panthers team that had just traded away star pass rusher Brian Burns.

After losing out on Clowney, the Jets will be motivated to find another pass rusher this offseason, either via free agency or the 2024 NFL draft.

Jadeveon Clowney Is Still a Dominant Player

While he hasn’t stayed put with one team for more than two seasons over the last few years, Clowney continues to show why he’s one of the top edge defenders in the league.

Clowney is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro with the Baltimore Ravens. He played in all 17 games for the team, tying a career high with 9.5 sacks to go along with 43 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 5 pass breakups.

The advanced metrics also show the kind of year Clowney had in 2023. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he posted a career-high 78 pressures with an overall grade of 82.9. That grade was his highest since 2018, when he was named a Pro Bowler for the third time with the Houston Texans.

Despite all of his success, Clowney has continued to be in favor of short-term deals to keep his options open. Since being traded by the Texans to the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, Clowney has bounced around the league on one-year deals, although he played two full seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Now, Clowney has given himself a bit of a longer runway with the Panthers, and Carolina is hoping that he can continue to play at a high level over the next two seasons.

A Tough Look for Joe Douglas & Aaron Rodgers

Clowney snubbing the Jets in favor of a rebuilding team like the Panthers doesn’t look great for general manager Joe Douglas or quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Douglas spoke highly of Clowney during league meetings in Orlando, stating that the two sides had a productive visit when he met with the team.

It’s perhaps a tougher look on Rodgers, at least on social media. The future Hall of Fame quarterback was vocal about his recruiting efforts during his time in Green Bay, stating that star players came to the Packers to play with him. That comment has been widely criticized ever since Rodgers made it, and losing out on a star like Clowney won’t do him any favors.

The Jets have still brought in top free agents, including Mike Williams and Tyron Smith. However, fans who were hopeful to sign a top pass rusher like Clowney will be disappointed the Jets were unable to agree to a deal.

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