On the defensive side of the ball, there is no bigger NFL free agent than Jadeveon Clowney. The former top pick is looking to join his third team.
Clowney was dealt by the Houston Texans, who took him No. 1 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, to the Seattle Seahawks last year. He had his moments with Seattle, but dealt with injuries throughout the season.
While he hasn’t emerged as a total gamebreaking player, he still has star potential, and would be a big addition for most teams. His ask is still pretty high. Earlier this offseason, he was reportedly seeking a multi-year deal worth upwards of $20 million.
Teams that have been connected to Clowney include the Tennessee Titans, the Cleveland Browns, and the Seahawks, though some have cast doubt on a potential return to Seattle. Clowney has his eyes on some other franchises, though they might not be realistic based on salary cap situations. According to NFL analyst Tony Pauline, the former South Carolina standout has the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints in his sights.
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Interestingly, it sounds like Jadeveon Clowney could back off of his hopes of a multi-year deal. Pauline says he’d be open to a one-year contract, if he can sign with a contender.
“What I’m told is 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 signing a three-year deal with a middle-of-the-road franchise. If he can get a decent one-year deal from a team that was in the playoffs, a team that he could help take to the next level… I’m told he would be very happy to do that.”
He then went into the situations with Dallas and New Orleans. If one of those teams has reciprocal interest, they’d have to get creative in order to bring Clowney in under the salary cap, unless he took a deal way below market value.
“The team that immediately comes to mind is the Tennessee Titans, but I was told that two teams on top of Clowney’s list, as far as where he would like to wind up, are the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints. And he would definitely help both of those teams.”
“Both of them are a little bit cash-strapped. The Saints have less than $9 million under the cap, the Cowboys are about $11.2 million below the cap. So I don’t think either of that will be enough to bring Clowney in. They’d have to do some significant maneuvering of salary in order to bring him in for a year, if in fact those teams want him.
We’ll see where things head with Clowney. He’ll help a team this fall, it just isn’t quite clear which it will be as of now.