Clayton: Why the Seahawks’ offer to Clowney is the best he’s going to get
The Seahawks added two young pass rushers in the NFL Draft, but general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll made it clear that Seattle is still willing to bring back defensive end Jadeveon Clowney for 2020.
Clowney’s free agency journey has been very interesting as he was seen as the best non-quarterback on the market. But while every other pass rusher has seemingly been scooped up, Clowney remains unsigned and according to 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton, not many teams are interested at the moment.
“It looks like it’s just between two teams – Tennessee and Seattle,” Clayton told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy on Friday. “I don’t think Cleveland is involved now. They might have been about a month ago, but not now.”
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported Friday morning that it appeared to be a two-team race for Clowney’s services, but that the defensive end isn’t rushing to sign.
I'm told the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans are still interested in Jadeveon Clowney. Both teams have made multiple offers, but nothing that matches Clowney's desired price tag. Sources believe "he is just not in a hurry to sign".
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) May 1, 2020
Clowney has perhaps been impacted more than any player due to the coronavirus as he has not been able to visit teams or take a physical. He has a fairly lengthy injury history and had offseason core surgery as well. This has played a role in both the length of contracts he’s been offered as well as the amount of money.
Clowney had reportedly been seeking a long-term deal worth over $20 million per year, but that never materialized. He has now apparently been willing to take less money and sign a one-year deal. Clayton wrote earlier this offseason that Clowney and his representatives misread the market.
“At this stage, with Tennessee being something that he would consider, my understanding is the offer by Seattle, they’ve now gone up to a point where it probably was in that $13 to $15 million range, and obviously anything we’re talking about is going to be a one year deal, I think they’ve gone as high as $16 million,” Clayton said. “My read on Tennessee is if they do anything, this is maybe going to be a one year, $10 million deal. Knowing that he can’t get a physical, Tennessee can’t do anything now. Nobody can do anything now other than Seattle and right now, he’s not willing to do anything.”
The Seahawks currently have just over $21 million in cap room per OverTheCap, but that’s without the details of Bruce Irvin’s deal as well as rookie contracts. The Titans currently have about $21.5 million according to OverTheCap, but they also signed a few pass rushers in free agency, so getting Clowney isn’t as necessary for them as it would be for the Seahawks.
Clayton thinks Clowney, at this point, has been offered the best deal he’s going to get.
“The numbers can only go down. It’s not going to go up,” he said. “… Seattle’s offer, right now, is going to be better than anything that he’s going to get with another team. Simple as that. And the longer you wait, the less it becomes … It’s a bonus if (the Titans) get him, but it’s a bonus at the expense of Clowney if they end up taking him.”
Another pass rusher that the Seahawks have been linked to is Everson Griffen, who has played his entire career with the Minnesota Vikings and played for Carroll at USC.
The veteran defensive end has been seen as a sort of backup plan in case Clowney signed elsewhere. Clayton says his market has been far worse than Clowney’s.
“I think it’s gone from $8 (million) to $3 million on a one-year deal because if you notice, just about every signing now if (for the) minimum salary, and obviously Griffen is going to have a little more clout than that, but I don’t think he has the clout to get the $8 million or so,” he said. “And clearly there hasn’t been a bidding war whatsoever because you haven’t heard of any offers for him, so he’s still out there.”