Seahawks could make a different splash instead of trading for Clowney
As trade talks involving Texans defensive end Jadaveon Clowney heat up and the reported list of possible destinations gets smaller, it appears the Seahawks are still in the mix.
On Tuesday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Dolphins brought Clowney in for a visit and are “very interested,” but he would prefer to “play for a contender like the Seahawks or Eagles.” The decision is up to Clowney at the end of the day as he will need to sign his franchise tender with the Texans before a trade can go through.
You can count one former Seahawks quarterback among those that are not in favor of the Seahawks trading for the Pro Bowl pass rusher. Matt Hasselbeck, now an ESPN NFL analyst, joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk on Tuesday and was asked if he would make that trade.
“I would not, and I have a lot of respect for Clowney. I’ve played against him many times, been hit by him many times, he’s a really good player,” Hasselbeck said. “They let Frank Clark go for a reason, because you know in part… money, so if you’re going to get Clowney that’s a lot of money.”
The cost to a team trading for Clowney this year would be his franchise tag tender amount of $15,967,200. He would most likely be a one-year rental if he chose to join the Seahawks, as he missed the July 15 deadline for franchise players to reach a long-term deal with their 2019 team.
Hasselbeck explained why that is not a road that he thinks the Seahawks need to go down.
“To me, when I think of Seattle with that crowd noise and that coaching staff, they do a nice job of coaching up a four-man pass rush. They don’t need to blitz to get home, they’ve got the advantage of crowd noise half the time, they’ve got (2019 first-round pick L.J.) Collier, they’ve got some guys that I believe they think can rush the passer. That’s not the deal I would make.”
While the pass rush has been the Seahawks’ biggest area of concern for most this offseason, Hasselbeck focuses on the other side of the ball when discussing where he would look to add depth.
“I’d be more concerned about the wide receiver situation and just making sure I had all the pieces that Russell (Wilson) is going to need to be Russell Wilson.”
When Brock Huard then offered up the idea of a trade for Miami wide receiver Kenny Stills, Hasselbeck was on board.
“Yeah, I’d like that,” Hasselbeck said. “It’s not that I don’t believe in those other receivers, I sort of do, but you’ve got to be available right now. I don’t know that everyone is going to be available. We’re talking about a Super Bowl team here. We’re talking about a team that’s trying to compete for the Super Bowl. That’s not the situation that everyone is in but that’s the situation the Seahawks are in.”
To Hasselbeck’s point, the Seahawks’ receiving corps suddenly looks a lot thinner with David Moore (broken humerus) and D.K. Metcalf (minor knee surgery) both unavailable for Thursday’s preseason finale, and there is a lack of experience with so many rookies fighting for roster spots at the position. In fact, Tyler Lockett is the only current Seahawks receiver with more than 100 career NFL receptions.
Stills would be a veteran addition that could bring some experience to that position group. His numbers have tapered off, but at only 27 years old, that could be more of a byproduct of being on a bad Dolphins team and catching his passes from Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler than an indictment on him. Stills has racked up 4,138 receiving yards and 32 touchdowns since entering the league in 2013 and his career average is 16 yards per reception. Stills is reportedly one of many veterans being shopped by the Dolphins who are rebuilding under new head coach Brian Flores and looking to get younger.
There is another reason the Dolphins are looking to move Stills, and that is his $9.75 million cap hit in 2019. Are the Seahawks willing to spend big on either Clowney or Stills to bolster what Hasselbeck thinks could be a Super Bowl team? We should know very soon as both the Dolphins and Texans will attempt to get these deals done before the NFL’s 53-man roster deadline on Saturday.