- Jadeveon Clowney remains the top free-agent pass-rusher available on the market
- The Seattle Seahawks are the leading contenders to (re)sign the 2014 first-overall pick
- See the odds on where he will land and the best bet for his squad in 2020
The Seattle Seahawks seemingly pulled off a major heist last season when they acquired Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans for a couple of spare parts and a third-round pick. While the trade certainly wasn’t a disaster from Seattle’s standpoint, the production didn’t quite match up with the hype for a guy who racked up 18.5 sacks the two previous seasons.
More than a month has gone by since the start of free agency and it’s all but a certainty he won’t be making the market-setting money he had hoped for. It appears he’s headed for a deal less than top dollar or a shorter-term contract that will see him hit the open market again soon.
Where is the most likely landing spot for the 27-year-old and what makes the most sense following each team’s draft classes?
Odds to Sign Jadeveon Clowney (2020)
|New York Giants||+500|
Odds taken April 29th.
Clowney’s Stats Don’t Tell Full Story Last Season
Despite producing his lowest sack total (3) last season since his rookie year (where he had none in four games), it wasn’t as if Clowney was a non-factor. There were times that he totally dominated, particularly in the running game. Then there was that phenomenal Monday Night Football matchup against the 49ers. In that contest, Clowney wreaked havoc, picking up a sack, five quarterback hits, and a forced fumble that he returned for a touchdown.
Jadeveon Clowney was believed to be looking for $20 million initially in free agency, but his expectations reportedly dropped after weeks passed with no real interest.https://t.co/E7eKamPnwn
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) April 28, 2020
Clowney had the fifth-best pass rush win rate last season (25%), suggesting his low sack total was a bit of an anomaly, which makes his current situation all the more confusing.
Still, those paltry three sacks stick out like a sore thumb. He battled a core muscle injury for the second half of the year which caused him to miss three games and led to diminished returns. Interestingly, Seahawks defensive linemen Jarran Reed sold his #90 jersey number last year to Clowney, but has stated he’ll be switching back to that number this year, which could be an indication Clowney isn’t in their plans.
What Jarran Reed's jersey number tells us about Seattle's negotiations with Jadeveon Clowney
2019 #90 ➡️ #91 Clowney enters
2020 #91 ➡️ #90 Clowney exits https://t.co/qNABdIHEbm
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 29, 2020
Seahawks Moves Suggest They’re Not Expecting Clowney Back
While it is far from a done deal that Clowney won’t return to the Pacific Northwest, the tea leaves suggest Seattle is preparing for life without him. They signed ex-Seahawk Bruce Irvin (8.5 sacks) and Benson Mayowa (7 sacks) to help fill the void to go along with emerging 2018 third-rounder Rasheem Green and 2019 first-round pick L.J. Collier.
Per John Schneider and Pete Carroll, the #Seahawks haven't "closed the door" on re-signing Jadeveon Clowney.
But a numbers game – on multiple fronts now – further indicates he isn't part of the team's plans moving forward.https://t.co/mwwrW4gMHy
— Corbin Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) April 29, 2020
The ‘Hawks recently terminated the contracts of offensive linemen Justin Britt and D.J. Fluker to free up valuable cap space and they have about $22 million so they could use those funds on a Clowney contract. It’s not as if Seattle couldn’t use as much pass-rush help as possible, considering only the Dolphins and Lions were worse at rushing the passer in 2019.
To that end, however, they traded up in round two of the draft to take edge rusher Darrell Taylor along with fifth-round defensive end Alton Robinson.
Seattle or Tennesse: Which is better situated to sign Jadeveon Clowney?
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) April 28, 2020
Signs Point to Clowney Moving On
The disinterest in Clowney across the league is potentially tied to a lack of access to Clowney’s medical records during COVID-19 (which Seattle does have access to). While he did enjoy his time with Seattle by all accounts and the team has said they’ll consider matching any offer he receives, both sides are at a standstill.
Enter another team that has over $20 million in cap space, didn’t use any of their six draft choices on a defensive end, ranked 25th in pass rush in 2019 (according to Pro Football Focus), and has been linked to Clowney throughout the whole process.
Pick: Clowney Signs with Tennessee Titans (+400)
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