Can Seahawks pay both Clowney and Reed? Former agent says it’s possible
Many, such as 710 ESPN Seattle’s Paul Gallant, have advocated for paying Clowney top-market money.
But Clowney isn’t the only big name on defense who the Seahawks could sign to a long-term contract this offseason. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed had 10.5 sacks last year and also had his best game of the season against San Francisco, though he has played in just four games this year as he was suspended for the first six contests.
Clowney is on the last year of his contract, and the Seahawks can’t negotiate a new deal until after the season – though the team has a limited exclusive window to try and re-sign him before he can talk with other teams – and have promised Clowney that they won’t use the franchise tag on him. Reed is in the last year of his four-year contract.
After signing quarterback Russell Wilson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner to long-term deals this offseason, is it feasible to pay both Clowney and Reed? Joel Corry, a former agent who writes about NFL contracts and the league’s salary cap for CBS Sports, joined Bob, Dave and Moore to help break that down.
Bob Stelton wanted to know if Clowney’s masterful performance on Monday, which included a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and several quarterback hits and pressures, would drive up his price tag.
“Price tags typically don’t go up off of one particular game,” Corry said, but there is a difference, however, between regular season performances and playoff performances when it comes to contracts.
Some have voiced concern with paying Clowney a top-tier contract when he has just three sacks this year and has never had 10 sacks in a single season. Corry said Clowney’s performance is a prime example why sacks aren’t always the best measurable for edge rushers.
“He didn’t have a bunch of sacks, but that was probably one of the most disruptive games I’ve seen from an edge rusher in a while,” Corry said of Clowney’s performance against the 49ers.
Additionally, despite never having 10 sacks in a season, Clowney is still making his presence felt in the passing game. Corry said to look at quarterback pressures as well, not just sacks, and it’s easy to see Clowney ranks among the best in the game.
“He’s always been able to pretty much get the same type of pressure over a consistent basis,” Corry.
After Monday, Clowney has 44 quarterback pressures, which is tied with notable names like edge rushers Khalil Mack (Bears), Shaq Barrett (Buccaneers) and Nick Bosa (49ers), and more than Demarcus Lawrence (Cowboys) and former Seahawk Frank Clark (Chiefs).
“I’m advocating (quarterback pressures) if I’m the agent,” Corry said.
Corry says if he were Clowney’s agent, he would have Clowney talk to other teams before potentially re-signing unless the Seahawks blow Clowney away with a contract offer.
Jim Moore asked if Clowney could get between $20 and $22 million per year, which is what Clowney was reportedly seeking in a potential new deal with the Houston Texans before he was traded to Seattle. Corry said it’s very possible, especially if players like Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers is making more than $18 million per year on his new contract.
“Clowney has been more consistent over time than Trey Flowers,” Corry said. “I don’t think he’s going to get Khalil Mack money (average annual salary of $23.5 million).”
If Clowney does get more than $20 million, is it possible to bring him, Reed and maybe even fellow defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson, who is also a free agent after this season, back for 2020 and beyond?
“Bobby Wagner once said, ‘You can’t keep everyone,’” Corry said.
Luckily, Corry said, the Seahawks have a good amount of cap space for 2020 and beyond, and the team could sign Clowney to an extension with a “reasonable first year cap number” for 2020 and use the franchise tag on Reed. Corry expects the franchise tag cost for defensive tackles to be around $16 million for 2020.
“So yeah, it’s doable,” Corry said.
Corry also talked about Wagner negotiating his own deal and whether that’s a trend we’ll see more of, a potential Chris Carson extension, how much quarterbacks will make now that Wilson has reset that market and more.
Listen to Corry’s thoughts at this link or in the player below.