49ers

NFL rumors: Jadeveon Clowney, Seahawks' chances of contract 'slim to none'

NFL rumors: Jadeveon Clowney, Seahawks' chances of contract 'slim to none'

When the Seattle Seahawks acquired defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney in a trade with the Houston Texans last offseason, it was an undeniable steal. Two replaceable veterans and a third-round draft pick? That was a price the Seahawks were more than willing to meet -- and they surely wouldn't have been the only ones.

The main reason Clowney was even made available by the Texans in the first place, however, was the fact that he was entering the final year of his contract. Though one could argue Clowney has yet to live up to the lofty expectations he entered the league with as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, there was no question that he would command a huge salary on his next deal.

The Seahawks were willing to take the risk that the Texans were not, and now, Seattle might be paying the price -- whether they pay up or not.

Clowney remains unsigned thus far in NFL free agency, and though he reportedly lowered his asking price to $17 or $18 million annually (down from $20 million) last week, it sounds increasingly likely that he'll be playing elsewhere next season.

NFL Media's Mike Garafolo joined 950 KJR in Seattle on Tuesday, and expressed significant doubt that Clowney would re-sign with Seattle.

"I don't know if he's going to be back in Seattle," Garafolo said. "The chances are slim to none."

Well, then.

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Things can always change, but it would appear Clowney's time with the Seahawks has come to an end -- unless he continues to lower his salary demands. According to Spotrac, Seattle currently has about $14.6 million in available cap space, and they just signed Benson Mayowa -- who plays the same position -- to a one-year, $3 million contract. Obviously, there are ways for the Seahawks to open up additional cap space, but in any event, the numbers are going to be tight.

And, if the Seahawks don't bring Clowney back, there simply aren't many big names left at his position at this stage of free agency. Disgruntled and franchise-tagged Jacksonville Jaguars pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue would be a logical trade target, but it would be like doing the Clowney trade all over again. Only in that hypothetical scenario, the Seahawks wouldn't be able to use the assets that they sent to the Texans, and who's to say that Jacksonville wouldn't ask for far more in return? And then they'd still have to pay Ngakoue a huge salary, too.

Ultimately, if Clowney departs in free agency, that would be a huge blow to the Seahawks, and frankly, would make it impossible to label Seattle's offseason a success. That has to be keeping general manager John Schneider up at night.

[RELATED: Russell Wilson has framed Montana 49ers jersey at home]

Meanwhile, the 49ers won't lose one ounce of sleep if Clowney leaves the NFC West.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers pick South Carolina CB Israel Mukuamu

2021 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers pick South Carolina CB Israel Mukuamu

It’s never too early to look ahead when you’re talking NFL draft. 

Looking ahead to next year’s event, CBS Sports sees the 49ers addressing the secondary with their first-round selection. R.J. White predicts the 49ers will select Israel Mukuamu from South Carolina at No. 31 overall.

Mukuamu has the height at 6-foot-4 to keep up with any of the NFL’s tallest and most athletic wideouts, and was named to the All-SEC second team in 2019 as a sophomore.

[RELATED: Will 49ers regret not picking any cornerbacks during 2020 NFL Draft?]

It would be the third consecutive year general manager John Lynch chose to select a South Carolina product in the first two rounds of the NFL draft, after taking wideout Deebo Samuel in 2019 and defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw in April.

The 49ers have three cornerbacks who could enter free agency next offseason, so the position should be a priority for Lynch after the 2020 campaign.

Mukuamu famously picked off former Georgia quarterback and Buffalo Bills fourth-round pick Jake Fromm three times this past season, including one that was aided by a Kinlaw pressure.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo posed for next 'The Match' by Colin Cowherd

Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo posed for next 'The Match' by Colin Cowherd

Bay Area native Tom Brady didn’t start out so hot in Sunday’s “The Match,” but managed to make the most impressive shot of the day on the seventh hole. The event, also featuring former NFL MVP Peyton Manning and PGA icons Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, was a smashing success, raising over $20 million for coronavirus relief efforts and becoming the most-watched golf event in cable television history.

Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd talked through some potential duos who should participate in the next iteration of the event, and thinks Brady could take on former teammate and current 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo next time around.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Brady and Mickelson were swiftly defeated by the Manning-Woods pairing on Sunday, and likely would be seeking some revenge in a showdown with Garoppolo. The two also have the obvious history of being in New England together before a controversial trade with the 49ers in 2017.

Of course, 49ers general manager John Lynch did admit this offseason that the front office did due diligence on Brady during his free agency, but the six-time Super Bowl champ opted to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Garoppolo has taken a plethora of shots this offseason for his play in Super Bowl LIV, where the Niners blew a 10-point lead and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

[RELATED: Where Nick Bosa ranks on 49ers' five best rookie seasons since 2010]

There doesn’t seem to be much evidence of Garoppolo’s golf game on the internet, but it’s hard to imagine he hasn’t hit the links a few times in his life. He couldn’t play much worse than Brady started out through six holes on Sunday.

Underlying tension between the two could come to the surface over the course of 18 holes together, but Garoppolo and Brady never have given any public indication the two have beef.

A matchup between the two could provide some laughs, but there are plenty of other duos more compelling for the next event.