Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney On Seahawks Trade

Jadeveon Clowney revealed some information about his preseason team change Wednesday. For starters, the former No. 1 overall pick said he expected to be a Texan for a sixth season before Bill O’Brien informed him otherwise around two weeks before the regular season started.

I thought I was going to be in Houston and then the last call to get ready to go in for training camp like two weeks before. Bill O’Brien was like, ‘We are trading you.’ I was just like, ‘Oh, OK,'” Clowney said during an appearance on Ian Rapoport’s RapSheet and Friends podcast (audio link). “Well, I will hold off on signing (my franchise tender) now cause I don’t know where I’m getting traded to. Because he was like, ‘We don’t know where we’re going to send you yet, but we are going to trade you.'”

The Texans ended up sending Clowney to the Seahawks for a 2020 third-round pick and linebackers Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin — neither of whom start in Houston. Clowney had refused to sign his franchise tender, in a move that initially allowed him to avoid Texans training camp without fines but became about dodging a trade to the Dolphins.

The 26-year-old edge defender confirmed he did not want to be a part of Miami’s rebuild but would have welcomed a deal to Philadelphia, which is consistent with the reports that emerged in late August. Seattle had discussed a Clowney deal with Houston before the draft, but the Texans’ price tag was higher than it eventually became at the preseason’s conclusion.

Miami, yeah, I didn’t want to go. Send me to a team that has a chance to win,” Clowney said, via Rapoport. “And when I hear about Seattle, Philly, also, of course, I want to go. I’ve got guys on both teams I’ve played with before. I would have loved to play for either one of the teams. So anyone of them would have worked for me.”

The Eagles had already given Malik Jackson a $10MM-AAV deal and re-signed Brandon Graham for $13MM-plus per year this offseason, those contracts joining Fletcher Cox‘s $17.1MM-per-year pact on a high-priced defensive line. The Seahawks had traded away franchise-tagged defender Frank Clark and did not have big expenses on their D-line. Clowney remains attached to his $15.967MM tag number, but the Seahawks are only on the hook for $8MM of it.

Through five Seahawks games, Clowney has a sack, three QB hits, a pick-6 and a forced fumble. Whitney Mercilus has fared well in Clowney’s absence, registering five sacks and four forced fumbles with the Texans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Dolphins’ Trades, Strategy

In addition to moving on from numerous veterans this offseason, the Dolphins have now traded two players who were seemingly building blocks in Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick. These moves appear to have tripped the NFL’s alarm.

The Tunsil trade involved numerous Texans offers, with Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reporting the steps the AFC teams took to finalizing the trade that sent the left tackle to Houston. The Texans’ offers went from Jadeveon Clowney-for-Tunsil, straight up, to Clowney and a first-rounder for Tunsil to first- and second-rounders for Tunsil. The Dolphins managed to drive the price to two first-rounders and a second-round selection and requested tackle Julie’n Davenport in return, Salguero notes.

Upon seeing the Texans’ deal-closing offer on a board in Chris Grier‘s office, Tunsil told the Dolphins GM, “I would trade me for that too,” Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald adds (via Twitter).

In reshuffling their power structure after last season, the Dolphins were not planning to jettison Tunsil, Fitzpatrick, Kiko Alonso or T.J. McDonald. (The Dolphins dealt Alonso to the Saints and released McDonald.) Brian Flores‘ coaching staff clashed with Alonso, Salguero adds, and asked him to play multiple roles — including edge defender. The Dolphins demoted the highly paid linebacker before trading him.

Fitzpatrick is a Steeler, being dealt after a trade request. The second-year defensive back was not on board with the versatile role the Dolphins asked him to play, and Salguero adds the team never found a sufficient comfort level that would allow Fitzpatrick to settle in at one spot. Both Grier and owner Stephen Ross attempted to help Fitzpatrick and Miami’s coaching staff find common ground.

Myself, Brian, and Steve (Ross) — we had multiple conversations with him, saying we wanted him here and viewed him as a core piece and wanted him here,” Grier said. “The kid just felt it was time for him to move, and we told him what the value was. We told teams we had multiple offers, and we felt that the Pittsburgh one was the one best for the organization.”

Fitzpatrick’s rookie deal was worth $16.447MM over four years. Similar to the deal in which the Dolphins acquired Josh Rosen, the Steelers are only on the hook for Fitzpatrick’s base salaries. Pittsburgh has the 2018 No. 11 overall pick under contract through 2021 for $5.48MM, Field Yates of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter).
The Dolphins now hold three 2020 first-round picks. A building suspicion in NFL circles centers on the prospect this Dolphins rebuild may be a stealth effort for Trevor Lawrence in 2021, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. But Salguero adds one of Miami’s three 2020 first-rounders will be used to draft a quarterback — regardless of how Rosen performs in what now may be an extended audition. The Cardinals in 2018-19 and Baltimore Colts in 1982-83 were the most recent franchises to draft first-round passers in consecutive years, so as of now it looks like this oft-labeled tanking strategy is built around Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa (should he enter the 2020 draft).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Glenn, Robinson, Haden, Harris

Bengals left tackle Cordy Glenn has been ruled out of the team’s Week 1 game, Ben Baby of ESPN.com relays. Back-up left tackle Andre Smith will take over duties and will face a fearsome defensive front in Seattle that includes newcomers Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Jaguars LT Cam Robinson is not playing vs. the Chiefs but it’s not the knee that he recently had surgery on that’s keeping him out, as Phillip Heilman of The Athletic relays (Twitter links). Robinson’s right knee is now the issue.
  • Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link) has details on Joe Hadens extension with the Steelers. The pact comes with a signing bonus of $13.8MM.
  • Don’t expect an extension for Broncos CB Chris Harris anytime soon. Troy Renck of ABC Denver (Twitter link) hears that an extension is not in the team’s plans right now, as John Elway & Co. will wait until the offseason to handle the matter.

 

Extra Points: Jets, Clowney, Steelers, Ozigbo

Hines Ward is back in the NFL, this time as a coach. The legendary former Steelers receiver will join the Jets as an offensive assistant, the team announced in a release. Ward had been a coaching intern, and after impressing during camp got invited back as a member of the full-time staff. “He’s going to be an offensive assistant, he’s going to be working with the wideouts with Shawn so I think that’s a great addition for us. He’s done a lot of really good things with that group, helping out with those guys,” head coach Adam Gase said.

Ward has been working under receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, and that will continue. Ward finished his decorated career with 1,000 receptions and 85 touchdowns, winning two Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP Award. He also served as an executive with the now defunct AAF. He’s already made a positive impression on presumed number one Jets receiver Robby Anderson. “He’s a great resource because he’s done it at a high level consistently,” Anderson said. “He’s a future Hall of Famer so what more can I ask for? I’m picking his brain, and he’s more so telling me than I’m asking him, and I’m just staying on top of him. He’s just trying to find ways to get me better in each way.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Jadeveon Clowney was almost a Seahawk all the way back in the spring. The Texans and Seahawks first discussed a Clowney trade before the draft, Seattle GM John Schneider tells Albert Breer of The MMQB. However, there were logistical roadblocks – namely, extension talks with quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner. Meanwhile, the April price tag for Clowney was too high for the Seahawks’ taste. Over the weekend, the Seahawks acquired Clowney for a 2020 third-rounder, defensive end Barkevious Mingo, and linebacker Jacob Martin.
  • The Browns got tight end Ricky Seals-Jones off waivers from the Cardinals this weekend, and they weren’t the only AFC North team interested. The Steelers submitted a claim for the Texas A&M product as well, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Seals-Jones has shown flashed during his two years in the league, but the 2017 UDFA fell out of favor with the new coaching staff in Arizona. The Steelers have Vance McDonald but not a ton behind him on the depth chart, so their interest makes some sense.
  • Before he was claimed by the Jaguars, the Browns and Lions also tried to snag running back Devine Ozigbo off waivers, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Ozigbo turned in a solid preseason with the Saints, but was unable to make their final cut on Saturday. Detroit was only one spot behind Jacksonville in the waiver order, so they just barely missed getting their guy. Ozigbo is an undrafted rookie from Nebraska.
  • Undrafted rookie offensive tackle Ryan Pope signed with the 49ers’ practice squad earlier today, and he was apparently in high demand. Pope had practice squad offers from four teams after getting cut by the Lions, a source told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. Pope played his college ball at San Diego State, where he earned All-Mountain West second-team honors as a senior.

 

More On Jadeveon Clowney Trade

A pair of blockbuster trades were consummated on cutdown day, one of which featured Jadeveon Clowney heading to Seattle. More details on that trade and how it went down may come out over the next couple of days, but here’s a roundup of what we have so far:

  • Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that the Texans paid Clowney a $7MM signing bonus while the Seahawks will pick up the remaining $9MM of Clowney’s 2019 salary (Twitter link). The trade was already viewed as a big win for Seattle, and this tips the scales even further in the Seahawks’ favor. Critically, the Seahawks have promised Clowney that they will not put the franchise tag on him in 2020.
  • At one point, the Dolphins believed they were the frontrunners for Clowney, and when the trade to Seattle was first reported, we heard that Miami and the Texans were indeed headed towards a deal before Clowney made it clear that he would refuse to play for the Fins. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald confirms that report and says the Dolphins and Texans were on their way to a trade that would have sent Clowney and two very high picks to Miami in exchange for LT Laremy Tunsil, but Clowney’s aversion to South Beach scuttled that (Twitter link). Of course, the two sides did agree to a Tunsil trade, it just didn’t include Clowney.
  • Jackson adds in a separate tweet that the Dolphins only really considered Clowney a bonus, not necessarily a long-term piece. The team really wanted premium draft capital in a Tunsil trade, and that’s ultimately what Miami got.
  • Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network says that, when Clowney did not report to the Texans after their third preseason game, as Houston had expected, the team’s leverage was reduced even further. And when Clowney suggested that he was willing to miss regular season action if he was not traded, the Texans had to act to make the best deal they could (Twitter link).
  • Clowney will re-hire longtime agent Bus Cook, whom he had fired less than a week ago, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

Texans To Trade Jadeveon Clowney To Seahawks

The Jadeveon Clowney era in Houston has come to an end. The Texans and Seahawks have agreed to a trade that will send the star edge rusher to Seattle. Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets that the Texans will receive a 2020 third-rounder, defensive end Barkevious Mingo, and linebacker Jacob Martin.

While the deal is all but “done” according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter), there are a few formalities that need to be taken care of. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that Clowney is currently in Seattle to sign his franchise tender, which would enable Houston to trade him. Clowney, Mingo, and Martin will also need to pass physicals before the deal’s completed. We learned earlier today that the two sides had been progressing towards a deal.

The move makes plenty of sense for the Seahawks. Seattle doesn’t have to commit to a new Clowney deal until the offseason, allowing them to evaluate his fit on the team. Further, if the edge rusher ends up leaving in free agency, they’re likely land a 2021 third-round compensatory draft pick. While the organization will have to fit Clowney’s $15.9MM tag charge into their $25MM in cap space (the team cleared $4MM by trading Mingo), it was still clearly worth the “risk.”

Considering the Seahawks’ need for pass-rushing, Clowney’s desire to play in Seattle, and the minimal asking price, there’s really no risk at all. While the Seahawks did add defensive end Ziggy Ansah, they moved on from veteran Frank Clark. The team will also be without defensive tackle Jarran Reed for the first six games due to suspension, necessitating their need for help up front.

The Texans were somewhat stuck behind a rock and a hard place when it came to the Clowney trade talks. The 26-year-old did have a bit of leverage regarding where he could land, and it apparently worked. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets that the Dolphins and Texans were well on their way to hammering out a deal. When Clowney refused to play in Miami, it allowed one of his preferred suitors to swoop in.

In other words, the Texans did relatively well considering the circumstances. Most teams would purely view Clowney as a rental, so a third-rounder is fine value for an impending free agent. Plus, while Martin may not be a recognizable player, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that one GM gushed about the player’s motor. The 2018 sixth-round pick had nine tackles and three sacks as a rookie.

Mingo, a former first-rounder, has bounced around the NFL during his six-year career. He started a career-high 14 games for Seattle in 2018, compiling 48 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans, Seahawks Agree To “Parameters” Of Clowney Trade

It sounds like Jadeveon Clowney will get his wish. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that the Texans and Seahawks have agreed to the parameters of a trade. The deal is contingent on Clowney and other traded players passing their physicals. Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets that the Texans are expected to receive a 2020 third-rounder, while Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes that Houston will also be acquiring two players.

Earlier today, Wilson reported (via Twitter) that the Texans and Seahawks have had a “dialogue” about the star edge rusher. Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero (via Twitter) said the two sides were “deep” in trade talks, with Clowney declaring Seattle as his preferred trade spot.

After firing his agent on Tuesday afternoon, it appears that Clowney is serious about landing the long-term deal he desires. We heard that Clowney preferred the Seahawks and the Eagles as trade destinations, and Seattle larer emerged as the front-runner. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Clowney would willingly sign his tag if traded to Seattle. Meanwhile, Wilson tweets that the Seahawks would essentially be renting Clowney, with the organization evaluating a long-term fit throughout the season.

Clowney met with the Dolphins earlier this week after the organization emerged as a potential trade partner. However, it sounds like Clowney isn’t interested in playing for Miami. The front office has also talked trade with the Jets and Redskins.

As an unsigned franchise player, Clowney does have a bit of leverage in this matter. The Texans have been unwilling to commit to the former top-overall pick, and he might have enough juice to force a trade to one of his preferred teams.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Houston will simply give him away. We heard that the Texans would actually like to keep Clowney, and they’ve also established an asking price in trade talks. If the defender ends up sitting out games as he pursues a new contract and/or a trade, he’ll forfeit around $1MM per game. In other words, there are also some negotiating advantages for the Texans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: CBA, Clowney, Julio, Butt

As expected based on the past several weeks of talks, there will be no new collective bargaining agreement before Week 1. The parties’ latest round of discussions ended this week without much movement, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes no more meetings are currently scheduled. The owners continue to push for an 18-game season, while the players want a greater revenue share than their 47% figure without adding any additional regular-season contests. But the sides have made progress on issues like increased league-minimum salaries and health and safety components, Pelissero adds. With NFL-NFLPA meetings more difficult to arrange during the season, due to players’ focuses shifting to game preparation, there is now an increased possibility we will get to 2020 without a new CBA in place. That would mean final-year-of-a-CBA rules going into place. This CBA expires after the 2020 season.

Here is the latest from around the league, as rosters continue to take shape leading up to Saturday’s cutdown:

  • It continues to look less and less likely Jadeveon Clowney will wear a Texans uniform again. A bevy of teams are interested, even if a Clowney-to-Miami proposition has hit snags on multiple fronts. Bill O’Brien, who was reported to be against a Clowney extension before this year’s franchise tag deadline, said he will reconvene with Clowney if he signs his tag tender, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Clowney has now threatened to miss regular-season time.
  • We are now less than nine days away from the Falcons‘ opener, and it could put Julio Jones to a decision. The All-Pro wideout did not skip training camp but he would soon be set to play in games on the league’s 13th-highest-AAV receiver deal. Thomas Dimitroff said (via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com) the team believes this process is “very close” to being completed. Jones’ current deal runs through the 2020 season.
  • Jake Butt has endured another setback. The Broncos tight end who has undergone three reconstructive ACL surgeries will have another knee procedure soon, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This will be a minor surgery on Butt’s left knee, that was operated on last year. At this point, it should be considered a safe bet Butt will land on the Broncos’ IR list. The Broncos have the former All-American under contract through 2020 and could give him another medical redshirt year of sorts by placing him on IR before finalizing their roster. Butt missed most of Denver’s preseason work.
  • The Texans may have their backup quarterback back soon. A.J. McCarron has resumed throwing, per Wilson, pointing to the longtime Bengals QB2 being available in Week 1. McCarron has been dealing with a thumb injury for most of August. Houston signed McCarron to a one-year, $3MM deal to be Deshaun Watson‘s backup.

AFC East Notes: Gronk, Alonso, Clowney

Ever since Rob Gronkowski announced his decision to retire, rumors have swirled of a potential comeback to the Patriots. Gronk himself hasn’t done much to tamp down the speculation, notably leaving the door open in a press conference a few days ago. The legendary tight end recently did an interview with Jeff Howe of The Athletic, and dropped even more hints that he’d be ready to play. “My body feels good. I can even take it further physically, and I could play right now,” Gronkowski said.

However, he also cautioned that his heart isn’t in it right now when asked what it would take to get him to come back. “Mentally, the desire to play just isn’t there. I would have to literally just feel that desire – just feel that mentally, that desire to play, to be back out there. Like someone is calling my name, I would have to feel that inside. I would have to feel that on a consistent basis. That’s the way I would entertain coming back to football.” The former Patriots star also revealed that he currently weighs about 20 pounds less than his usual playing weight, although he did say it would be “easy” to put it back on.

Here’s more from the AFC East on a busy day around the league:

  • We heard last weekend that the Dolphins were shopping linebacker Kiko Alonso, and now we have more details. It was apparently Alonso who requested a trade during training camp, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rival organizations reportedly expect Alonso to be cut, which is hurting his trade value. Miami is starting completely fresh with new coach Brian Flores, and many of the team’s veterans are getting purged. Both sides apparently want to move on, so it would be a shock at this point if Alonso is on the team in 2019. Originally drafted by the Bills in the second-round back in 2013, Alonso has started at least 15 games in all three of his years as a Dolphin. He has two more years left on his four-year, $28.9MM deal.
  • It looks like Jadeveon Clowney won’t be going to the Dolphins, but they aren’t the only AFC East team interested. The Jets are apparently in the mix too, although you shouldn’t count on them landing the former first overall pick. Although New York is interested, “there may be far too many obstacles on both sides” to complete a deal, writes Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “I’m not sure how much the Jets really want him, or how much (Clowney) wants them,” one rival exec told Vacchiano. “It’s hard to see Joe (Douglas, the Jets GM) going crazy for a player like him, especially just for a year. It doesn’t look like there’s a match.” Clowney’s reported preferred destinations are Seattle or Philadelphia.
  • Good news for the Bills, as Mitch Morse has officially cleared the concussion protocol, according to Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Bills made upgrading the offensive line a priority this offseason, and Morse was one of their biggest acquisitions. He’s been dealing with this concussion for most of the summer, so this is great news that he’s been cleared. Morse has a history of concussions, and other injuries have limited him to just 18 games over the past two years. When healthy, he’s one of the best centers in the league, and he should provide a big boost for Josh Allen.

Jadeveon Clowney Doesn’t Want To Play For Dolphins

It seems like Jadeveon Clowney won’t be headed to the Dolphins after all. The Texans outside linebacker is “adamant” that he doesn’t want to play for Miami, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). 

Just a few days ago, we heard that the Dolphins considered themselves the favorites to land the former first overall pick. The Jets, Redskins, Seahawks, and Eagles have all also held conversations with Houston about trading for Clowney. Since Clowney can’t be traded until he signs his franchise tender, he has the leverage to shoot down a potential trade. He’s apparently more interested in joining a playoff contender, as Seattle and Philadelphia are said to be his preferred destinations.

Clowney met with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and other members of the organization in person, but he clearly wasn’t swayed by their pitch. In a follow-up tweet, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle writes that Clowney specifically hasn’t signed his tender because he doesn’t want to play for the Dolphins.

Miami has been the most active publicly in their pursuit, and there have been rumors of a potential swap involving left tackle Laremy Tunsil. It was reported yesterday that there would be a “revolt” in the locker room if the Dolphins traded Tunsil. It’s unclear how interested the other four teams are, or if they’ll be willing to meet Houston’s asking price. Clowney has let it be known he’s willing to miss regular season games, so it doesn’t seem like there’s an end in sight here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.