If Clowney considers short-term deal, does that favor the Seahawks?
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.
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.
A source close to the situation tells me the #Seahawks offer to Jadeveon Clowney was in fact for $13 Million, not the $18.5 Million reported earlier. Teams offering right around $13-14 Mill
— Pick 6 (@thepick6com) March 21, 2020
Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle said on Twitter that he can confirm what @thepick6com said after verifying their source.
Talking with @thepick6com and verifying their source I can confirm this tweet.
Not surprised to see the #Seahawks starting offer in 13-14M range on a 1-2 year deal. @JohnClaytonNFL and I on @710ESPNSeattle over the week have the belief the deal will end up being 15-16M range. https://t.co/Wnexo7unYl
— Jake Heaps (@jtheaps9) March 21, 2020
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.
Hearing some chatter that Jadeveon Clowney and the Seahawks are moving toward a new deal.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 21, 2020
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.
As Jadeveon Clowney continues to wait, I'm told he's considering options, including a potential shorter term deal w/ a chance to re-enter market in a year or two. Many people around league expect him back in Seattle. A $20M price tag has been steep for teams, per @diannaESPN
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 19, 2020
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.
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