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Huard: Why Seahawks-Clowney reunion is down to just a 10% chance

Brock Huard's faith in the Seahawks re-signing Jadeveon Clowney is pretty low. (Getty)

We’re a week into July and still, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned by the Seahawks and the rest of the NFL despite being arguably the best player left in free agency.

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Over the course of free agency, rumors have swirled over which team will ultimately sign Clowney and for what price. The Seahawks, Titans and Browns were initially seen as the three leaders, and a recent rumor was that Clowney wanted to sign with either the Saints or Cowboys. Now, there’s supposedly a new team in the running according to Cecil Lammey of Denver’s 104.3 The Fan: the Las Vegas Raiders.

After that latest report, what are the chances that Clowney winds up back with the Seahawks in 2020? Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard shared his thoughts with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant Tuesday morning, and he said that Clowney’s free-agent market is somewhat similar to his trade market last year.

“You start to hear once again, whether it’s driven by Jadeveon and his agent Buss Cook or whether there are some teams trying to leverage the media a little bit, that there is more interest as we get closer (to the season) and we saw this last year, in fact, when (Seattle traded) for Jadeveon Clowney,” he said. “It wasn’t really until (right before season) that the deal got done and he became a Seattle Seahawk.”

But as training camp and the season get closer, Huard says his belief Clowney will return to the Seahawks is pretty low.

“As we get closer here, he is the marquee player still out there and with the cap situation of the Seahawks, I’d put this at a maybe 10% chance that Clowney is back here,” Huard told host Danny O’Neil. “And that just bums me out every time I hear this because I still have, for some reason, this misguided belief and hope that he’s going to end up here, that he wants to be here, there’s no state income tax, they love him and they need him … And yet I think as the reality is going to get closer (that) ultimately he’s going to sign elsewhere.”

Another rumor regarding the Seahawks has been with troubled receiver Antonio Brown. Those rumors have heated up as Brown has been working out with quarterback Russell Wilson at Wilson’s house. Paul Gallant said he’d prefer Wilson to have done or said more publicly to try and bring Clowney back, with Huard adding Clowney could have been working out with Wilson this offseason.

“That’s what you want, that’s what I want, that’s what a lot of Seahawks want, Seahawk players and fans want,” Huard said. “They want to see Jadeveon Clowney back in that uniform in Seattle added to Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa and the other moves you made of some nice side pieces and role players, but you need the superstar. You need the blue chipper.”

O’Neil said he thinks the ship has sailed for Clowney and the Seahawks while noting that his market may be getting even smaller. The Browns and defensive end Olivier Vernon restructured his deal, and that likely takes them out of the running  for Clowney. Cleveland had been reportedly interested and some believed the Browns gave Clowney the best one-year offer he’s received.

Huard thinks Clowney’s injury history, especially with his knee, is a strong reason that the two teams he has played for – the Seahawks and Texans – haven’t given him a long-term deal. This makes it more likely he joins a new team, Huard said.

“I think it’s going to be a team that is going to be willing to take a risk on that knee more than those teams that know him,” he said. “More than Houston would, who knew him implicitly … and would not give him the megadeal and mega dollars that he wanted. (More than) the Seahawks, who got to know him last year and got to experience that on a daily basis and weekly basis and the number of days he missed practice so he could protect that knee and play and be able to go in primetime on Sundays.”

You can listen to Huard’s full conversation with Danny and Gallant, which includes why Clowney is comparable to an MLB “ace” coming off an injury and down year, at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard on Twitter.

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