After nearly six months of trying, the Seattle Seahawks made one final pitch to Jadeveon Clowney before the pass rusher fully committed to the Tennessee Titans. Both the Titans and Saints made a late run at Clowney, but the Seahawks also appeared to be in the mix as well. ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported “the Seahawks were calling late too” adding there was a “lot more” to the Seahawks final pitch than what is known.
“This is true. The Seahawks were calling late too,” Anderson explained on Twitter. “There’s definitely a whole lot more to how they were attempting to potentially get Clowney back last night too, but I’ll leave it at that.”
Clowney’s free agency had a fitting end with reports circulating that the pass rusher had agreed to terms with the Titans only for the defensive end to refute it minutes later. Anderson also reported Clowney spoke with both the Saints and Titans late into the night. The decision “came down to familiarity over economics” as Clowney will reunite with Titans head coach Mike Vrabel who he played under in Houston.
“Jadeveon Clowney just informed me he just let the Saints know he’s now chosen the Titans,” Anderson tweeted. “New Orleans made a last ditch push through the overnight to improve its deal & lure him away, but ‘it came down to familiarity over economics.’ Added ‘packing now to head there in morning.’ …The back & forth w/ the Saints went on for hours. Clowney & his family are up now talking to family. He’s also texting now that the Titans improved their offer. ‘Yes they did.’ Adding, ‘almost sealed it last night, but we had to lay everything out for the best outcome for me.'”
Clowney Signed a 1-Year, $12 Million Contract With the Titans
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Clowney agreed to terms with the Titans on a one-year, $12 million contract that can be worth up to $15 million with incentives. ESPN 710 Seattle’s John Clayton previously reported that Clowney would sit out the 2020 season if he did not find a team willing to give him a $15 million salary. Clowney is hoping that in Vrabel’s system he can put up better numbers to cash-in during the 2021 NFL free agency period.
“The Titans are giving pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney a 1-year deal worth more than $12M — and an opportunity to cash in again in 2021 if he has a big season,” Rapoport said on Twitter. “Worth noting that Clowney had his best season in 2017 in Houston with Mike Vrabel as his defensive coordinator. …The Titans 1-year deal with Jadeveon Clowney has a max value of $15M, source said.”
The Seahawks Wanted an Opportunity to Match Clowney’s Final Offer
During Pete Carroll’s final training camp press conference, the Seahawks head coach was asked if he remained in contact with Clowney. Carroll smiled and simply said “always competing.” It is unclear if the Titans’ offer topped what the Seahawks had on the table, but it appears to be in the same range as Seattle’s standing deal.
Clowney told Anderson that the Titans also improved their final offer as the Saints and Seahawks came calling in the late hours. Seahawks general manager John Schneider admitted at the NFL combine that the team wanted a final opportunity to match Clowney’s offer.
“It’s a landscape thing,” Schneider said at the time, per Seahawks.com. “Trying to figure out—at this point last year, I thought Frank [Clark] was going to be on our team. It’s really a daily or weekly process of figuring out how you’re going to put this thing together. We have some cap flexibility this year, which is great, but it’s not just about this year. It’s planning for next year and the following year as well. We have to be cognizant of where we’re going.”
Clowney did not find the “landscape” in free agency that he was expecting, but ultimately opted not to return to the Seahawks. As more details are revealed, it will be interesting to see how the Seahawks’ offer compared to the Titans. Prior to Clowney’s announcement, Clayton reported the Seahawks’ offer was in the $11 to $12 million range.