JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: The big question now with Jadeveon Clowney is when

Jul 8, 2020, 1:23 PM | Updated: 1:34 pm
Seahawks Jadeveon Clowney...
The Browns are most likely now out of the running for free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney. (Getty)
(Getty)

The wait continues for former Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and the wait is costing him money.

Huard: Seahawks-Clowney reunion chance is 10%

On Tuesday, Clowney lost the chance to go to Cleveland. The Browns redid the contract of defensive end Olivier Vernon. He took more than a $4 million pay cut to get a one-year, $11 million deal that is completely guaranteed. With Vernon locked up for the season and the team also working on a contract extension for defensive end Myles Garrett, there is no job opening for Clowney in Cleveland.

What’s interesting is what the Browns did. At the start of free agency, they made an offer to Clowney. It was believed to be in the $17 million a year range. Clowney, who wanted more than $22 million, said no. When he lowered his demands to $17 million, the Browns weren’t there. There are reports in the last month that they were offering $12 million to Clowney. Nothing happened. And if the Browns had signed Clowney, they would have needed to cut Vernon.

For Vernon to sign for $11 million, that tells me Clowney’s market value is now down to $10 million or less on a one-year deal. The Las Vegas Raiders are interested but their offer was considered to be the lowest of the small list of teams trying to sign him. The Tennessee Titans remain interested but I doubt they would offer him more than the one-year, $9.5 million contract they signed Vic Beasley to earlier this offseason.

The Seahawks still have a chance to get him, but the question is when. I believe if Clowney understands he’s going to make less than half of what he values himself, he might not risk going into a training camp. He told Josina Anderson last week he wants to get a deal before the start of the season.

Nothing will happen on the Clowney front until the league allows players to make visits and for team doctors to conduct physicals. That might not be until the start of training camp. Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Georgia and other big states are spiking with positive COVID-19 tests. Titans general manager Jon Robinson said Tuesday they would need to have a physical for Clowney before doing anything.

While Clowney remains unsigned, the big story in the NFL this week was the 10-year, $450 million deal given to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. It’s the biggest in NFL history, and he’ll make roughly $10 million more per year than the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson. What’s going to be interesting is to see how agents and teams value the deal.

So much of this league studies new money in contract extensions. The new money for this deal starts in 2022 and it is indeed $45 million a year, but Mahomes will receive the original amount of money from his previous deal in 2020 and 2021. That’s two years at a total of $27,631,905. The Chiefs readjusted the payout by giving him a $10 million signing bonus, but his cap numbers for the next two seasons stay roughly the same.

If you look at the 12-year payout for Mahomes, it’s $39.802 million a year. He’ll make $39.3 million a year in the first three years of the deal. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will be trying to get to $40 million a year on a shorter contract, most likely a four-year deal.

The next quarterback to challenge Mahomes’ record contract will be Wilson, whose deal is up after the 2023 season. Wilson will be 35 years old at that point.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Twitter.

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