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If Clowney considers short-term deal, does that favor the Seahawks?

If Jadeveon Clowney opts for a short deal, would the Seahawks be the favorites to sign him? (Getty)

While nearly every major NFL free agent signed, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is still out there, and reports on his market are all over the place. One thing that is consistent, however, is that the Seahawks are heavily involved in trying to keep Clowney in Seattle.

If the Seahawks can’t keep Clowney, what’s next for the pass rush?

Clowney has reportedly been seeking a payday of at least $20 million per year per ESPN’s Dianna Russini, but so far, no team has been able to meet his demands.

Earlier this week, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo said that the list of suitors for Clowney has been lower than he and his camp had anticipated. While other pass rushers have been signed, tagged or traded, Clowney remains available.

Some reports, such as from Corbin Smith of Seahawk Maven, have said Seattle has offered a deal worth $18.5 million per year, but @thepick6com said on Twitter that per a source, Seattle has an offer of $13 million per year.

Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle said on Twitter that he can confirm what @thepick6com said after verifying their source.

Additionally, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Saturday that “Seattle could be in the process of working something out with Clowney,” and that a deal could be done any time. He also said that could have been floated by Clowney’s camp to try and stir up more interest in other teams.

With teams unwilling to give Clowney the apparent long-term deal he’s looking for, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that Clowney is considering either a one- or two-year deal so he can reset his value in future free agency.

If Clowney is considering a shorter deal, does that work in the Seahawks’ favor? Heaps thinks so.

“Because it’s the most comfortable situation,” he said Friday. “There are some thoughts that maybe he would be upset that the market has gone the way it has and that the Seahawks have offered him a contract that is significantly less than he has been asking for in terms of a price point, but ultimately, if this is the only offer or close to the only offer in the same price range, I think it’s beneficial for him to go back to a place that he enjoyed playing in last year, an organization that really embraced him for who he is – he loves the guys in the locker room, they love him – I think it would be a very comfortable move for him.”

There are two main reasons teams may be reluctant to pay Clowney.

The first is production. He has never recorded 10 sacks or more in a single season and he had just 3 in 2019 for the Seahawks. He is extremely disruptive in both the pass and run game, and he is regularly taking on multiple blockers. Still, people want numbers, so Clowney lacking in that department hurts him.

The second thing is injury history. He missed three regular season games last season with a core injury that required offseason surgery. He also missed 12 games his rookie season with a knee injury, and has played in all 16 games once in six years, but has played 13 games twice, 14 once and 15 once. Additionally, with travel restrictions and whatnot due to coronavirus, the Seahawks have access to Clowney’s most recent medical evaluations while other teams can’t get him in for a visit due to the virus.

While a short-term deal could favor a return to the Seahawks, Heaps said there’s one way he’d play elsewhere for just one or two seasons.

“If there’s another team that he deems in terms of a better situation regarding the talent around that defensive line, that they have a more well put-together situation where he could benefit, where statistically he could have a bigger year and not get double- or triple-teamed like he did in Seattle last year, I can easily see him taking that kind of a deal if it’s on a short-term basis so he can prove his value and then re-enter the market,” Heaps said.

The Seahawks, even with Clowney at his best and healthy, had an awful pass rush in 2018. Rasheem Green led Seattle with 4 sacks, and the Seahawks were one of four teams with fewer than 30 sacks in the regular season.

Clowney demanded multiple blockers, but others around him couldn’t win their one-on-one matchups to take advantage of that fact. Additionally, no one on that line commanded enough respect to regularly take attention attention off of Clowney.

If a team that is ready to contend in 2020 has a solid line and wants to pay Clowney as much or more than the Seahawks are willing to, it wouldn’t be that surprising if he left so he can build up his numbers.

You can listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps on Twitter.

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