Just hours before Seattle had to officially trim their roster from 90 to 53, John Schneider and Pete Carroll made yet another splash. According to multiple reports, the Seahawks will trade Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Martin and a third round pick in 2020 for Jadeveon Clowney.
There are plenty of reasons to be surprised, confused and thrilled by the trade for Clowney (at least from a Seattle view point—for Houston it’s just anger). Further answers are sure to come, some, presumably in the near future—when did it become realistic for the Seahawks—and some not for several months, if ever—why Clowney after dealing Frank Clark? For the time being, though, the details and the why can be ignored, and the acquisition of Clowney can be viewed for what it is, in the moment: Just perfect.
Entering year 10 of the Carroll and Schneider regime, we know what to expect from their football team. Occasionally slow and often confounding early in the season, before growing into one of the toughest matchups in the NFL by the end of the season. It’s essentially a core tenet of a Carroll-coached team: During his time at USC, the Trojans went 25-1 in November. Since 2012, Seattle is a combined 23-9 in the final month of the season. Once they sort out the kinks, the Seahawks get going and look like one of the best teams in football. Every. Single. Year.
In Clowney, Seattle is receiving a kindred spirit. Though he has not reached the cartoonish, Superhero expectations he had put on him in an instant—
—he’s still a rare, game-breaking talent. A one-time All-Pro and three-time Pro-Bowler, Clowney seems to hit his stride during the final part of the season. Every. Single. Year. The calendar flips to December and Clowney flips the switch from All-Pro to All-Universe.
30% of Jadeveon Clowney's career sacks have come in December, 25% of his career TFLs. A true perfect match on a team that consistently peaks at the end of the season— Alistair Corp (@byAlistairCorp) August 31, 2019
#Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney's stats & positional rank— PFF HOU Texans (@PFF_Texans) December 28, 2018
-71.7 overall grade (39th)
-85.8 run-defense (3rd)
-68.3 pass-rushing (40th)
-31 total pressures (27th)
-91.5 overall (2nd)
-91.7 run-defense (2nd)
-86.3 pass-rushing (3rd)
-25 total pressures (4th)
Clowney is beating blocks and winning individual matchups at a much higher rate.— PFF HOU Texans (@PFF_Texans) December 28, 2018
Clowney's win rate in Weeks 1-11: 11.7% (60th)
Clowney's win rate in Weeks 12-16: 20.7% (8th)https://t.co/0dqcM3ZJ16
Regardless of how the 2019 season plays out, the Seahawks will have to feel pretty good about their playoff chances should they be in the mix at the end of November. Their best football would be just around the corner, and the playing conditions would soon suit their style. Now, they’ll have one of the most impactful defensive linemen in the NFL, someone who can win on the outside and in, just about to hit his stride, too.