The Tennessee Titans have to be the new frontrunner for Jadeveon Clowney.
Clowney spent the first five years of his NFL career with the team that took him No. 1 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft out of the University of South Carolina in the Houston Texans. Last season, Clowney spent a year in relative obscurity up in the Pacific Northwest playing for Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks.
Though a return to the Pacific Northwest on a second contract could actually happen now, Clowney has seen his once robust free agency market shrivel up in the summer heat. Now that the Cleveland Browns restructured defensive end Olivier Vernon’s deal, it doesn’t seem like Clowney will be taking his talents to Northeast Ohio. However, he may very well end up in The Music City.
On Tuesday night, Titans general manager Jon Robinson spoke with Paul Kuharsky of 104.5 The Zone about Clowney. While Robinson says he’s liked what he’s seen on video and on social media, getting to work him out in-person may be what seals the deal to get Clowney to Nashville.
“What I’ve seen on Twitter, him rushing off the edge and hitting that bag,” Robinson said. “Anytime you are dealing with whatever the contract is going to command, you want to make sure that the player is healthy, that you are able to allow your doctors to see him, to look at it, to make sure everything is going to be good.”
Are the Tennessee Titans one workout away form signing Jadeveon Clowney?
At this point, the Titans are in a three-team race to land Clowney. With the Browns seemingly bowing out, it’s going to come down to Seattle, Tennessee and the Las Vegas Raiders, a dark horse contender to land him. Even if the Titans do come up short on landing Clowney, Robinson echoes head coach Mike Vrabel’s sentiment on “front multiplicity.” This Titans pass rush could be filthy.
“You’ve got (Harold) Landry, you’ve got (Vic) Beasley, you’ve got Clowney – hypothetically, to your point – you’ve got Jeffery Simmons, you’ve got DaQuan (Jones), who’s got some power rush, you’ve got (Kamalei) Correa who goes 100 miles an hour, you’ve got a lot of different pieces that you can move around,” said Robinson.
“And you’ve got athleticism with Landry, with Beasley, with Correa, you can drop those guys into coverage and send David Long, Rashaan Evans, Jayon Brown or whoever it might be. It just gives you a lot of chess pieces in that game.”
Though Clowney was in the building last year Seattle, his time with the Seahawks really only felt like a one-year rental. The Titans are the clear frontrunner for him for a few reasons. One, Vrabel was on the Texans’ coaching staff during Clowney’s first four years in the league. Two, the Titans competed against Clowney for five years and no what’s up. And three, who else will sign him?
Tennessee is in a very curious position. The Titans played in the AFC Championship game last January, but haven’t won their division since 2008, which is the longest division title drought in the AFC South. Houston may be a problem for them this year, but the Titans’ perpetual nemesis in the Indianapolis Colts stand as their biggest threat to host a home playoff game in 2020.
If the Titans can work out Clowney here soon, he’ll make the Tennessee pass rush menacing.