In all likelihood, Jadeveon Clowney will be the most sought-after defensive player on the free-agent market this offseason. What teams make the most sense?
This past season, the Seattle Seahawks cut a deal with the Houston Texans to bring in Jadeveon Clowney as a one-season rental.
After playing the first five years of his NFL career with the Texans, Clowney played in 13 games with the Seahawks in 2019. He had three sacks, a career-low for a season in which he played 10+ games.
During his stint with the Texans, he made three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2016-18, and racked up 29 sacks in 62 games playing a hybrid role between outside linebacker and defensive end.
Clowney’s market value is $20 million a year, per Spotrac.com. So, here are the two questions:
1. What teams offer the best fit for him?
2. What teams can financially handle that sort of a deal?
*All salary caps as of 2/18/20.
5. Las Vegas Raiders
Current cap space: $51,577,302
After enduring a teardown in 2018, the Raiders finished their final campaign in Oakland with a promising 7-9 record. Although, the team sputtered after starting the season 6-4.
Jon Gruden and his group showed progress, but the expectations will be higher next season as the team moves into its new home in Las Vegas.
Offensively, the play of rookie running back Josh Jacobs and veteran tight end Darren Waller were pleasant surprises. However, outside of a few individual performances by the some of the young defensive players, that unit needs to be better in 2020. Clowney would offer a quick fix. Also, with the way the current defense is structured, paying top dollar wouldn’t handcuff the team. Why?
Rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby led the team with 10 sacks. Fellow rookie defensive end Clelin Ferrell had 4.5 sacks. 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram will be a bigger factor with a healthier 2020, and 2018 third-round pick Arden Key may see his role increase as well.
Notice the theme? All of those guys are on rookie deals. Meaning, they’re playing under cheap terms. Add Clowney, and you’re putting an elite veteran with game-wrecking abilities next to a lot of young talent.
Yes, the Raiders have been rumored to be in the Tom Brady carousel. While bringing him to Vegas is unlikely, signing Clowney is far more likely and makes more sense.
How about that? Heading into Las Vegas with one of the best and more dynamic defensive players in the NFL on your team?