Moore: Seahawks not getting Jadeveon Clowney back isn’t a big blow
Should the Seahawks have given Jadeveon Clowney as much as $15 million for the 2020 season, the amount the Titans are paying him?
My answer in one word: Nope.
But from what I’ve seen on Twitter, many 12s think the Seahawks blew it by not making a bigger run at Clowney. Most of that has to do with the first game against San Francisco last year when Clowney was a one-man wrecking crew, helping lead the Seahawks to an overtime win.
He was also a disruptive pass rusher and run stopper according to the advanced metrics, but I’ve always argued against re-signing Clowney because he had only three sacks and was on a unit that ranked 26th in total defense. Even with the run-stopping Clowney, the Seahawks still allowed 4.9 yards per rush and gave up the most yards in a season in franchise history.
Clowney supporters point to the core injury impacting his effectiveness in the second half of the season, but he was inconsistent before he got hurt. The Seahawks actually gave up fewer points in the games he missed because of injury than the ones he played in.
And if you want to disagree with my thoughts on Clowney, that’s fine, I’m frequently wrong. But in this case, you’d be disagreeing with 32 general managers too – if Clowney was so outstanding, why didn’t one of them pay him what he wanted, in the neighborhood of $20 million?
I’d also contend that if the Seahawks had signed Clowney, they wouldn’t have made the trade for Jamal Adams, which is potentially a bigger game-changer for the defense than Clowney ever was. It’s just conjecture on my part, maybe they would have traded for Adams anyway, but that would have really tightened things up with the salary cap, if not now, next year for sure. That’s when they’d be looking at contract extensions for Adams and Shaquill Griffin and perhaps Quinton Dunbar and Chris Carson. They’d also probably be having another contract conversation with Clowney about the 2021 season.
There will still be concerns about the pass rush this year until the Seahawks prove they’re better than you and I think they’ll be at getting to the quarterback. The offseason acquisitions of Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa don’t wow anyone, and the lingering injury concerns with second-round draft choice Darrell Taylor are a problem along the lines of L.J. Collier last year.
But I’m thinking, like so many others, that an improved secondary with Adams and Dunbar will lead to more sacks. A half-second is the difference between a quarterback hit and a quarterback sack, and tighter coverage should get the Seahawks in the neighborhood of 35 sacks this year, an increase of seven from 2019.
I don’t think the loss of Clowney is a big blow. He’s a terrific player, I’ll give you that, but with his history of injuries and inconsistency, Clowney wasn’t worth what he wanted. Simply put, to my way of thinking, the Seahawks are moving on and moving up.