O’Neil: If Seahawks were the Titanic, why is Jadeveon Clowney so happy?
That’s my reaction to the addition of Jadeveon Clowney and not just because the Seahawks added a difference-making defensive end eight days before the start of the regular season.
The fact that Clowney was so eager to hop on board should be exciting for everyone in Seattle, especially when you consider that it was less than a year ago that Sports Illustrated reported that a handful of Seahawk players referred to the team as the Titanic.
If that’s the case, why was Clowney so excited to get on board?
“When I got the phone call about being traded here,” Clowney said Monday, “I was like, ‘Where do I sign at?'”
Make no mistake about this: Clowney chose Seattle. He couldn’t get traded until he signed Houston’s one-year contract offer, which meant that he could dig his heels in if he wanted. That’s the reason that he’s in Seattle this week instead of Miami, where it’s clear the Texans would have preferred to trade him.
And the quarterback that some former Seahawks have – anonymously – said they resented here in Seattle? Well, Russell Wilson was a selling point for Clowney.
“Russ is a great quarterback,” Clowney said. “I was like, ‘Who should I go play for?’ Somebody who can move that ball down the field and can score points. I know he’s good at it. We played him. He’s a great quarterback and that played a big role in it also.”
Don’t underestimate the importance of what Clowney is saying. The desire of players to be on a good team with a great quarterback is one of the only competitive advantages the Seahawks have going for them in a league that legislates parity.
The schedule. The draft order. The salary cap. All of these things function like gravity in the NFL, working to pulling down the winning teams by giving them tougher opponents, worse draft picks and limiting how much they can spend to keep their roster intact.
That’s what makes Clowney’s desire to be in Seattle so important. It’s one of the only things that is immune from the league’s attempts to legislate parity. You can’t stop players from preferring to play for a good team with a great quarterback, which is exactly what happened here.
And hopefully this will sink the storyline that Seattle is sinking because that ship has sailed along with most of the malcontents who were espousing it.