We’re less than two weeks from the start of the 2020 NFL season and Jadeveon Clowney is still on the free agent market.
The three-time Pro Bowl defensive end remains unsigned as training camps around the league conclude and teams ramp up for NFL action. Clowney has received interest from multiple teams, but the 27-year-old remains unsigned largely because of his asking price.
The elite pass rusher initially entered free agency with a $20 million per year asking price but has reportedly lowered his price tag to somewhere in the $17-18 million range awaiting an ideal suitor.
If you ask Yahoo! Sports NFL insider Charles Robinson, the Seattle Seahawks or Tennessee Titans could still make a deal with Clowney. That is, at the right price.
“I think it’s Tennessee and Seattle, and I think it’s all on Clowney deciding what the number is that he’s willing to play for,” Robinson said Tuesday on the Pat McAfee show. “If it’s sub-$15 (million), this, I think, can get done. Maybe it’s 12 or 13 with incentives that could push it, but the market, it’s not great.”
Clowney, who turned 27 on Feb. 14, made $15 million in 2019 when he was traded by the Houston Texans to the Seahawks. The Texans paid $7 million of Clowney's contract for this season, while the Seahawks picked up the remaining $8 million of the deal.
In 11 starts through 13 games in Seattle, Clowney compiled 21 tackles (seven for loss), three sacks (13 quarterback hits), four forced fumbles (two recoveries) and one interception for a touchdown (three pass breakups).
Robinson noted how Yannick Ngakoue’s trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Minnesota Vikings may have had a domino effect on Clowney’s value on the market. Ngakoue signed a one-year, $12 million deal, making it unlikely Clowney could obtain the type of money he’s looking for in a future NFL team.
He’s also turned down several lucrative offers from the Cleveland Browns, per Robinson. The Browns presented Clowney with deals between one and three years, all within the $17 to $18 million per year range, but the star pass rusher was not interested.
When asked if Clowney could pull a Le'Veon Bell and sit out the entire season if his contract demands aren't met, ESPN's John Clayton said it's entirely possible.
“As of today, he’s taking the same position, ‘It’s either $15 million or I’m not playing,'” Clayton said. “And unless he changes that then he’s not playing because no one is going to pay him $15 million, particularly now that you saw (Browns defensive end) Olivier Vernon took a (paycut to $11 million) and you saw that (Ngakoue is making $12 million). I think right now it’s up to him.”
But Clayton does think Clowney would be open to reducing his asking price for the right team, a la Seahawks.
“If he goes down to $12 or $11 million, he could be here (in Seattle),” he said. “I could see that happening.”
When asked if the door was still open to a Clowney return, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did not rule out the possibility.
"Always competing. Always competing," Carroll said Thursday.
While there’s no new indications that a Clowney signing is imminent, the clock is ticking and Clowney will soon have to decide whether he’s going to play this year or sit out the entire 2020 season.
Check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with Joe Fann and special guest Joel McHale