Jadeveon Clowney watch has reached its fifth day and while we’re yet to reach a resolution, the situation has become a bit clearer in recent days.
Clowney, one of the best free agents available in this year’s class, stayed largely out of the news in the legal tampering period and in the first few hours of the new league year. Presumably, a team—be it the Seahawks or another—hadn’t come in with the top-of-the-market offer Clowney had hoped for. On Wednesday evening, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler provided an update on Clowney’s status on the open market:
As Jadeveon Clowney continues to wait, I'm told he's considering options, including a potential shorter term deal w/ a chance to re-enter market in a year or two. Many people around league expect him back in Seattle. A $20M price tag has been steep for teams, per @diannaESPN— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 19, 2020
For Clowney, a short-term deal makes sense, after he was dealt an unfortunate concoction of circumstances for his foray into the open market. First, he had a down season by traditional measures, with just three sacks. Then, he underwent offseason surgery as a result of a core injury he played through. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic made flights, visits and physicals practically impossible. As a result, Clowney has yet to see that $20 million annual average he had hoped for.
As of Friday morning, the standstill remained, with Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle providing an update:
Status quo for Seahawks, free agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, who hasn't gotten the $20M average per year he's seeking, per league sources. Weighing one-year deals after injuries last season, then re-entering market next year when salary cap is expected to rise significantly— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 20, 2020
At this stage, barring an unforeseen change of heart in Seattle, or a wildcard team appearing from nowhere, a one-year deal seems both most likely and most favorable for Clowney. As Wilson points out, the open market should be much kinder—and Clowney’s production much higher—next year.
For the Seahawks, the longer Clowney remains available, the more they risk losing their star defensive lineman—be it immediately or in a year’s time.