JIM MOORE

Moore: A message for Seahawks fans who think Jadeveon Clowney trade would be too risky

Aug 16, 2019, 12:59 PM
The Seahawks are reportedly a potential trade destination for pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney. (Getty)...
The Seahawks are reportedly a potential trade destination for pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney. (Getty)
(Getty)

Mike Salk asked the question in a Twitter poll Thursday night: Should the Seahawks trade for Jadeveon Clowney?

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I wasn’t surprised that 49 percent of voters want general manager John Schneider to make a deal for Houston’s defensive end/linebacker if he can get him for a 2020 second-round pick.

I was surprised that 40 percent of voters aren’t interested. Really? Not interested in acquiring a player who could immediately fill the Seahawks’ two biggest needs? Clowney has 29 sacks in 62 NFL games, including 9.5 last year and 9 in 2017. After trading Frank Clark to Kansas City, the Seahawks have no one who had more than 5.5 sacks last year, which is what Cassius Marsh registered with the 49ers.

You can hope that Ziggy Ansah returns to his double-digit form from Detroit in years’ past, but how many games can you expect him to play when he’s had such an injury-plagued career?

Clowney is also great against the run, and don’t forget that the Seahawks allowed 4.9 yards a carry n 2018, a bigger concern to me than their pass rush.

If you could get Clowney with a second-round pick, why wouldn’t you do it? Especially when you have two second-round picks next year?

Or maybe Schneider could get creative by tempting the Texans, who need a cornerback, with an offer of Jamar Taylor, Neiko Thorpe or Akeem King and a third-round pick?

The Texans also need an offensive tackle. The Seahawks don’t want to break up their offensive line and certainly would not consider sending Duane Brown back to Houston, but perhaps a trade of Germain Ifedi and a fourth-rounder would get it done if they feel like George Fant could take over at right tackle once he’s recovered from his high-ankle sprain. Or Jamarco Jones and a third-rounder.

All of this speculation came about when John McClain, Texans beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, said he’d be surprised if Clowney isn’t traded. Clowney was offered a franchise tag in March and a chance to play for $15.9 million this year, but he hasn’t signed the tender and hasn’t reported to camp. The two sides are at an impasse. A trade would offer a possible solution even if it’s not a long-term one for the team that acquires him.

Because the Texans weren’t able to hammer out an extension for Clowney by July 15, he can’t sign a deal with Houston or any team that trades for him until the end of the 2019 season. So if the Seahawks got him, he’d be a one-year rental, which is good and bad. It lowers Houston’s asking price, but there’s no way the Texans would settle for anything less than a second-round pick. If Clowney ends up playing in Houston and leaves after the season, the Texans would likely get a third-round compensatory pick from the team that signs him in free agency.

As it stands, the Seahawks’ defense figures to be middle of the road this season. The pass rush could be a season-long issue, and Poona Ford and defensive-tackle offseason additions of Jamie Meder, Al Woods and Earl Mitchell should help the run defense, but that remains to be seen. They also have questions and/or concerns in the secondary where Bradley McDougald is the only starter who can truly be counted on.

Clowney, 26, has at least five to six years left in his prime. Plus if he has a big year in Seattle, the Seahawks have enough room under their salary cap to sign him to a long-term extension, which could be the biggest defensive contract in NFL history.

Think about this too: with Clowney and a healthy Ansah — granted, it’s a big if with Ansah — the Seahawks could go from having one of the weakest pass-rushes in the league to one of the best. And how much would that help a so-so secondary?

To the 40 percent in Salk’s poll who aren’t interested in acquiring Clowney: are you serious? Are you that concerned about losing a second-round pick when you already have one? Heck, I’d think about coughing up my 2020 first-rounder for a guy who was drafted No. 1 overall in 2014. And don’t forget that Schneider loves trading for former first-round picks.

Acquiring Clowney makes more sense than passing on a chance to improve an average defense with one dramatic move.

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Moore: A message for Seahawks fans who think Jadeveon Clowney trade would be too risky