If the Seattle Seahawks want to retain Jadeveon Clowney, they’ll have to pay up.
According to a report from Matt Miller from Bleacher Report, Clowney is looking to reset the market and get paid this offseason. In other words, he wants a record-setting contract.
Gonna be a fun offseason 🤑 pic.twitter.com/dP92kH1IHi— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) February 16, 2020
The Seahawks pass rusher is expected to receive a hefty sum come free agency, and is wanting to play for a contender.
“I just want to win,” Clowney said after the Seahawks loss to the Packers in January. "I'm trying to get to the Super Bowl by any means. That's what I'm looking for: Who's going to get me there? I ain't looking to get on no sorry team for no money. That ain't going to fly. I ain't gonna put my body through all of that just to lose no 16 games, go home with my check. I'd hate that, so that ain't what I'm doing.”
Clowney was traded to the Seahawks in exchange for linebacker Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo and a 2020 third-round pick after five seasons with the Texans. He was one of Seattle’s elite players in 2019, recording 31 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception in 13 games.
It’s unclear what exact number Clowney would like to achieve in his “market-setting” contract, but Seattle will have to make a blockbuster deal to retain the star edge rusher. Aaron Donald signed a six-year, $135 million contract in 2018, while Khalil Mack inked a six-year, $141 million deal to make the most annually of any defensive player in history at $23.5 million per year.
Unlike the players mentioned above, Clowney failed to be named to a Pro Bowl last season. He’s never registered more than 9.5 sacks in a single season, tallying only three in 2019, while Mack and Donald produced double-digit sacks in eight combined seasons.
If a deal between Clowney and Seattle did come to fruition and met his terms, he could become the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. It would be the largest contract since franchise quarterback Russell Wilson signed his record-setting, four-year, $140 million contract extension last April.
The Seahawks have said they want to keep Clowney and he has said “he wants to be here.” Clowney is undeniably an asset the Seahawks need to keep, but can they afford to do so? Seattle will have north of $60 million in cap space once free agency rolls around in March.