While just about every other big-name free agent has found a home, Jadeveon Clowney is still available.
Why? Well, because he clearly values himself quite a bit differently than the rest of the NFL does. And teams aren’t lining up to give him the Aaron Donald or Khalil Mack money that he is looking for.
As a result, Clowney may very well have to settle for a one-year deal. Or simply take the best long-term offer that is available.
Based on what we have heard, a return to the Seattle Seahawks seems like the most likely scenario.
Not only have the Seahawks expressed interest in bringing Clowney back, but the pass rusher recruited Brandon Shell to Seattle. Why would Clowney be recruiting anyone to the Pacific Northwest if he didn’t plan on re-signing?
What will probably end up happening is that Clowney and the Seahawks will have a little bit of a dance before ultimately coming to terms on some sort of deal.
That is something that would be best for both sides.
First of all, Clowney spent all of 2019 in Seattle. So he has familiarity with the organization, the coaching staff and the players on the roster.
Also, the Seahawks are very thin on pass rushers as it is. And while Clowney is not elite at getting to the quarterback, Seattle really can’t afford to lose him at this juncture. Not when everyone else has already signed.
That’s the thing with Clowney. It has been discussed countless times before, but he is not one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL. He logged just three sacks this past season. Since entering the league in 2014, he has never registered a double-digit sack campaign.
That isn’t to say that Clowney is a bum. Because he is still really good and can absolutely be a valuable asset to any defense. But the 27-year-old has certainly been hit with a pretty firm reality check this offseason.
Teams simply are not willing to pay top dollar for a guy who has never had 10 sacks, and you can definitely understand why.
But I also think the Seahawks need Clowney.
Seattle didn’t do much to address its pass-rushing problems in free agency, only signing Bruce Irvin for a second go-around with the club. The Seahawks have still been unable to replace Frank Clark’s production, but right now, Clowney is clearly the best option.
If Seattle lets Clowney walk, its defense will be in pretty bad shape going into 2020. And on the other side of the coin, does Clowney really want to sign a short-term deal with another team? Especially if he has to wait until training camp?
Clowney returning to the Seahawks seems like an inevitability at this point. Which is the best-case scenario for both parties. Seattle needs Clowney, and Clowney fits well with the club.
Unless a team comes out of nowhere and offers the University of South Carolina product a monster contract. Chances are, Clowney will be spending 2020 with the Seahawks — as he should.