The question about Jadeveon Clowney and the Seahawks appears to have been ‘asked and answered’
Another new week has started, and Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned by the Seahawks or any other NFL team. There’s also a new report about Clowney’s free agency.
Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com said last week on the NFL Draft Insiders Podcast that Clowney has two teams on his shortlist of desired landing spots, and neither are Seattle.
“I was told the two teams on top of Clowney’s list, as far as where he would like to end up, are the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints,” Pauline said.
So what does this mean for the Seahawks? On Monday, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant tackled that question. Let’s get into what Danny O’Neil, a longtime Seahawks reporter, makes of this latest report.
Does this change anything for the Seahawks?
It doesn’t, by O’Neil’s estimation. Seattle appeared to move on at a certain point in the offseason when it seemed clear what Clowney wanted in a deal wasn’t going to match what the Seahawks were willing to offer. Since the start of free agency, they’ve brought back two veteran pass rushers who have experience in their system (Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa), drafted a pair of defensive ends (Darrell Taylor in the second round and Alton Robinson in the fifth round), and used money to add to other positions of need like tight end (Greg Olsen) and running back (Carlos Hyde).
“I feel like this question has been asked and answered,” O’Neil said about whether the report linking Clowney to the Cowboys and Saints changes anything for Seattle. “Each time we come back, it’s like you’re going back to the Seahawks – ‘So, you guys going to make a move yet?’ And they’re like, ‘Well, dude, we’ve already decided this. If he wants to sign with us, he knows where to reach us. We’re not engaging in the he’s-trying-to-create-a-market sweepstakes.’
“That’s how this reads to me. He’s trying to create a market, and he’s been trying to create a market for three months now. Do I believe that there’s a market? No, I don’t. I think he’s going to end up settling with someone who offers him playing time, and I’m not going to buy the fact that, OK, we’ll see that now it’s going to get to brass tacks.”
The one-year deal possibility
Something else Pauline reported is that he’s heard Clowney is more likely than before to sign with a team for just 2020 and try his hand at free agency again next offseason.
“What I’m told right now by people in his camp is that Clowney would be just as happy signing a one-year deal with a playoff-contending team versus, say, signing a three-year deal with a middle-of-the-road franchise,” Pauline said.
Paul Gallant, O’Neil’s co-host on Danny and Gallant who previously covered Clowney in Houston when the defensive end was with the Texans, pointed out the difficulty Clowney may experience going that route.
“That’s tricky because what kind of deal is a contending team going to give you at this point?” asked Gallant. “… If you’re going to bet on yourself, it’s going to be really hard I feel like for him to prove that he’s gotten the production that should earn him one of those long-term deals for the coming offseason (after 2020).”
O’Neil noted that if a one-year contract with a contender is really what Clowney wanted, the Seahawks would have fit the bill – a few months ago, that is.
“Isn’t that the weird part of this, though? You hear that and you’re like, well, if that’s what he wanted, why isn’t he in Seattle? If he was willing to take a one-year deal with a contender, why did that not happen in Seattle?” O’Neil said. “And I think the math may have changed there. I think Seattle, between the addition of Carlos Hyde and signing Benson Mayowa, I do think they might not have as much money for 2020 as they did when they initially made that (offer).”
Where do things sit now for Clowney?
Though the offseason began with Clowney believed to be the top pass rusher available in free agency, others at the position have signed long-term deals while he continues to wait for the right offer.
“I think we may have seen what his open-market value is,” O’Neil said, “and the fact is is that he thinks it is more than it actually is. … Other guys have gotten paid. It’s just not been Clowney. … His attempt to create a market might have caused the market to evaporate around him.”
You can hear the full conversation in the final segment of this podcast from Monday’s edition of Danny and Gallant on 710 ESPN Seattle.