It’s always notable when a Pro Bowler is on the trade block. At the very least, even if nothing is imminent, there is some momentum behind the possibility of the Houston Texans trading Jadeveon Clowney before the start of the 2019 regular season.
Here’s what we know at this point:
- Clowney has refused to sign his $15.967 million franchise tender and is yet to show up to Texans HQ.
- He’s requested a trade and, to this point, the only team with permission to speak with Clowney directly is the Miami Dolphins. He reportedly met with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores on Tuesday.
- However, Clowney is said to prefer being traded to a contender, namely the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks.
- To this point, neither the Eagles nor the Seahawks have been granted the permission to speak with Clowney.
- One added caveat is this, whichever team acquires Clowney won’t be able to negotiate a long-term deal until after the season.
What would be the cost?
With all of that on the table, let’s, for the sake of discussion, pretend that the Seahawks are actively in talks with the Texans in order to swing a deal. What would be the cost?
Seattle traded Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason and received a 2019 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick as compensation. That’s probably a fair place to start. But while Clowney may be the better player, the inability to sign him long-term as well as the proximity to Week 1 would have to make his price tag lower than Clark’s.
What if it’s a straight swap, Clowney for Seattle’s 2020 first-round pick? That seems reasonable. The Seahawks wouldn’t be making this move if they didn’t feel like Clowney was the piece that would put them over the top as a Super Bowl contender. And if Seattle made the playoffs at the very least, that 2020 pick would be no higher than No. 21. In addition, this trade would net Seattle a 2020 second-round pick between the Clark and Clowney deals.
Houston may also be looking for players in return. They may seek a second-rounder and either right tackle Germain Ifedi or running back Rashaad Penny. Lamar Miller’s torn ACL does give the Texans an immediate need at running back. Seattle would likely prefer to send Penny given their current depth at running back.
What would it mean?
Should Seattle pull the trigger on any of the aforementioned deals, the benefits could be massive. A front seven with Clowney, Poona Ford, Jarran Reed (post suspension, of course), Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks would be arguably one of the best in the NFL. That’s before you factor in whatever production Seattle might get out of Ezekiel Ansah. That formidable defensive front would help alleviate some pressure off of a talented, yet mostly unproven secondary.
There’s a reason why the mere speculation of Clowney being traded is generating so much buzz. The three-time Pro Bowler has a combined 18.5 sacks and 37 tackles for loss over his last two seasons. He’s a coveted player at an even more coveted position.
If Houston’s asking price is even somewhat reasonable, the Seahawks owe it to themselves to give it serious thought. And who knows? Maybe they already have.