Jadeveon Clowney

Jets Aren’t Interested In Jadeveon Clowney

The Giants aren’t pursuing Jadeveon Clowney and the same goes for the other tenants of MetLife Stadium. The Jets spoke with the edge rusher’s agent, but they do not have serious interest in signing him, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com hears. Furthermore, Cimini hears that the Jets were never serious about him at any point this offseason. 

[RELATED: Browns Offered Clowney $12MM/Year?]

Clowney did his best to drum up interest from the Jets earlier this year, signaling a desire to join up with Gang Green. The Jets could use some help in the pressure department, but they’ve only got so much cap room to work with and bigger fish to fry. Specifically, they’re on the lookout for help at cornerback and they’ve got their sights set on former Titans standout Logan Ryan. As of this writing, they’ve got about $25MM to spend.

A confluence of factors have led to an unexpectedly long free agency spell for the former No. 1 pick. Beyond the pandemic and the ongoing unrest, Clowney’s asking price has proven to be a major hurdle. At the outset of free agency, Clowney was reportedly looking for $20MM/year. Then, he dropped it to about $17MM or $18MM. So far, it sounds like his best offer came from the Browns at around $12MM, a deal that Clowney’s camp rejected.

The Browns are still interested in Clowney, but the list gets murky after Cleveland. The two New York/New Jersey teams are out and the Eagles don’t want to approach his asking price either.

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Browns Offered Jadeveon Clowney $12MM/Year?

Jadeveon Clowney recently rejected an offer from the Browns, one that is rumored to be the most lucrative of any he’s received thus far. Still, it sounds like it was a far cry from the type of coin that Clowney has become accustomed to. The Browns’ proposal was believed to be worth around $12MM per year in base salary, agents tell Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.

[RELATED: Browns Still Interested In Jadeveon Clowney]

That’s the “word in the agent community,” per La Canfora. The full and true details of the offer are only known to Clowney’s representatives and those in the Browns’ front office. It’s also not immediately clear whether the Browns were offering a one-year deal or a multi-year arrangement. Either way, the Browns haven’t been totally turned off – they’re reportedly still interested.

When Clowney was traded from the Texans, he made the Seahawks promise not to use the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive season. The Seahawks probably wouldn’t have given him a 20% bump over his ’19 salary, but as JLC notes, a one-year, $18MM tether for 2020 would have been preferable to his current situation. So far, the Browns offer is apparently the best Clowney has been able to scare up, and the base compensation is about 25% less than Matthew Judon’s DE/LB hybrid tag for this year.

Clowney seems prepared to wait things out, even though most of the league’s dollars have dried up and many of his potential suitors have backed out. The Giants, Eagles, and Jets are putting their energy elsewhere, leaving the Browns and Titans as the likely frontrunners. Right now, Clowney seems unlikely to get anywhere near his original $20MM ask, unless the Ravens make a surprise pivot by trading Judon and signing the former No. 1 overall pick.

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Giants Won’t Pursue Jadeveon Clowney

The Giants could use an edge rusher and Jadeveon Clowney remains available, but they’re not interested in the former No. 1 overall pick, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. This jibes with recent comments from GM Dave Gettleman who indicated that he’ll focus on lower-priced options.

[RELATED: Jadeveon Clowney Turns Down Browns]

In March, Clowney said that he’d be open to joining the Giants, but that interest hasn’t been reciprocated. Instead, the Giants seem more focused on a reunion with Markus Golden, a cheaper edge rusher who led the team with ten sacks last year. The Giants tethered Golden with the rarely used unrestricted free agent tender, which will bring him back to the club if no one else signs him by July 22. Golden doesn’t have Clowney’s name value, and the advanced metrics aren’t keen on his lack of quarterback pressures last year, but he’d be a better budgetary fit. If no one bites on Golden in the next seven weeks, the Giants would have him back on a one-year, $4.12MM deal.

Last week, we learned that Clowney rejected an offer from the Browns. The Browns are still interested in signing him, just not at his current asking price. That’s more or less the case for every team connected to Clowney, though the Eagles believe that the gap is too large to even consider a pursuit.

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NFC West Notes: Ford, Clowney, Collier

Dee Ford played a key part of the 49ers‘ dramatic pass rush improvement last season, but the former Chiefs edge defender spent the season battling injuries. The 49ers did not use Ford last season nearly as much as the Chiefs did in 2018, with Ford’s knee and hamstring troubles contributing to his sporadic deployment. Ford took a step to a healthier 2020 season by undergoing knee surgery this offseason, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Ford described the operation as a “pretty extensive cleanup.”

He underwent the procedure a few weeks after Super Bowl LIV. Ford encountered multiple bouts of knee tendinitis last year, first in training camp and then aggravating the injury while training on artificial surfaces when the 49ers prepped for their Bengals game in Ohio. This preceded his hamstring trouble, but it sounds like Ford’s knee was an issue throughout the season. The 29-year-old defender said he “feels great” months later.

I’m able to actually explode off of this knee,” said Ford, who finished with 6.5 sacks last season. “Thinking back on it, I can’t believe I played a whole season on it. And we knew at the end of the day what we had to do — (it) had to be surgical. But I didn’t want to miss the season. We had too much going on. I didn’t want to miss that. It’s in the bag now. I’m confident in that.

Here is the latest from the NFC West, shifting to some Seahawks defensive line matters:

  • Although he has most recently been connected to the Browns and Titans, Jadeveon Clowney remains on the Seahawks‘ radar. Clowney’s most recent team remains interested in a reunion, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. But, as has been the case throughout, the Seahawks appear to be hoping Clowney will drop his asking price. Clowney already did so earlier this offseason, but based on his 2 1/2-month free agency stay, the former No. 1 overall pick appears to still be asking for more than teams are willing to pay.
  • L.J. Collier did not accomplish much on the field during his rookie season, playing only 152 defensive snaps and making just three tackles. Collier, however, suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason and said he may have rushed back from the injury. The TCU product is healthy now as training camp approaches (Twitter links via Condotta). The Seahawks plan to give Collier a shot to play a Michael Bennett-type role in their defense. Collier is slated to work at both defensive end and D-tackle, Condotta adds (on Twitter).
  • The Cardinals have not made a strong effort to lock up Patrick Peterson on another extension, but the contract-year cornerback said he still wants to play his entire career in Arizona.
  • Conversely, Rams No. 1 corner Jalen Ramsey received a strong endorsement from his head coach about both his future with the Rams and ability to reset his position’s market.

Browns Still Interested In Jadeveon Clowney

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Following reports from yesterday that Jadeveon Clowney turned down an offer from the Browns, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports that the Browns are still interested in the free agent pass rusher.

We learned last night that Clowney had rejected Cleveland’s contract, even though it was the most lucrative deal he’s been offered. Cabot notes that the 27-year-old is still “weighing his options.”

Clowney’s contract demands have dropped throughout the offseason. While the former first-overall pick was previously seeking a deal that’d pay him $20MM per year, those demands have been reduced to the $17MM to $18MM range. It’s uncertain how much money Cleveland offered the defensive end.

While Cleveland could certainly use some talent, they’re not in desperate need for a pass rusher. After all, they have former first-overall pick Myles Garrett as well as former Pro Bowler Olivier Vernon. Still, as Cabot points out, Browns general manager Andrew Berry isn’t afraid of making a big splash.

“We’re actively always looking, whether it’s draft, free agency, trades, waiver wire, you name it, to add players to our roster,” Berry previously said. “Obviously Jadeveon, he’s a good football player. But for us, it really goes back to something I mentioned maybe a few months ago. Rest assured, across all opportunities to acquire players, we’re going to be aggressive in adding talent to the roster.”

The Titans have been mentioned as a potential suitor for Clowney, and there’s still a chance he returns to the Seahawks. Earlier this offseason, Clowney reportedly expressed interest in joining the Giants or Jets. Neither New York team, despite apparent edge defender needs, has strongly reciprocated such interest.

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Jadeveon Clowney Turns Down Browns

Still a free agent after nearly 2 1/2 months, Jadeveon Clowney may have scratched one destination off his list. The high-profile pass rusher turned down an offer from the Browns, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter said during a radio interview with ESPN Cleveland (Twitter link).

The Browns have offered Clowney the most money thus far, Schefter adds. While the Clowney-to-Cleveland door may not be fully closed, it does appear the former No. 1 overall pick has doubts about such a scenario.

As this lengthy process has unfolded, Clowney has received interest from the Browns, Titans and Seahawks. Earlier on, however, Clowney reportedly expressed interest in joining the Giants or Jets. Neither New York team, despite apparent edge defender needs, has strongly reciprocated such interest.

Details about Cleveland’s proposal are not known, but Clowney has set his price high. He lowered it earlier in free agency, but his target — even on a one-year deal — likely remains substantial.

Cleveland still houses Olivier Vernon opposite Myles Garrett. Vernon is attached to a $15.25MM salary in the final year of his Giants-constructed contract. The Browns shopped Vernon earlier this offseason, but the way it’s looking now, the former Dolphins and Giants defensive end will have a good chance of finishing out his five-year deal this season.

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Top Remaining Free Agents

While most of the top free agents in this year’s cycle have long since signed with new clubs, there are plenty of potential difference-makers still available. Those players remain on the market for various reasons — price tag, injury concerns, etc. — but they all could be a key factor in the fortunes of whatever team they ultimately join. Let’s take a look at the best of who’s still out there:

  1. Jadeveon Clowney: If you think you’ve been reading a lot about Clowney over the past couple of months, you’re right. That’s what happens when a former No. 1 overall pick and a young dynamic talent is still up for grabs this late in the offseason. Clowney’s high asking price, originally said to be $20MM per year, certainly scared some teams off, as did his recent core muscle surgery. Some will also point to his relatively low sack totals as evidence that he is not the dynamic pass rushing force that he believes himself to be. But he undeniably has the chops to be a game-changer against the run and pass, and he is content to wait for the right situation to come along. Once teams have the opportunity to evaluate him themselves, his market should heat up rapidly.
  2. Cam Newton: Here’s another former No. 1 overall pick that we have written a great deal about recently. Like Clowney, the 2015 MVP may be signed by now if interested teams could have their own doctors examine him, and Newton is willing to be patient and wait for that to happen if waiting will allow him to secure a starting gig somewhere. But at this point, it looks like only an injury or major underpeformance will open the door for a QB1 role in 2020, so he may have to settle for a top backup job for now and hit the free agent market again in 2021. He is reportedly warming to that idea.
  3. Everson Griffen: Like Clowney, Griffen is a talented pass rusher, but unlike Clowney, Griffen has multiple double-digit sack campaigns under his belt. The 32-year-old posted eight QB takedowns in 2019, and it is a little surprising to see him unsigned this late in the process. A reunion with the Vikings may be in the cards, and the Seahawks are the only other club to be connected to Griffen at this point.
  4. Jason Peters: The only reason Peters isn’t signed yet is because of his age (38). He turned in a typically terrific season in 2019, and he has been connected to a number of clubs over the past couple of months. The problem is, many of those teams have filled their needs at the offensive tackle spots, so even though Peters has said that he is willing to play on the left or the right side, his options are now more limited. The Chargers could still be in play, and another year with the Eagles may also be a reality.
  5. Logan Ryan: Unlike several of the players ahead of him on this list, Ryan doesn’t have any notable health concerns, but his asking price — he’s seeking around $10MM per year — could be depressing his market. He turned in a productive 2019 season with the Titans and has the versatility to move around the defensive backfield, which has apparently led to multi-year offers. Given the need for quality corners in today’s game, Ryan will likely land a lucrative deal soon, it just may not be as lucrative as he wants. The Jets and Dolphins are involved in the bidding.
  6. Markus Golden: Golden enjoyed what appeared to be a breakout season with the Cardinals in 2016, posting 12.5 sacks in just his second year in the league. But injuries limited the edge rusher over the 2017-18 seasons, and he had to settle for a one-year prove-it deal with the Giants in 2019. He perhaps thought that he proved it, recording 10 sacks for Big Blue, but those 10 sacks came from just 26 total pressures, which is probably an unsustainable conversion rate. So far, only the Giants — who put the rarely-used UFA tender on Golden — have been publicly connected to him.
  7. Devonta Freeman: We haven’t heard a peep about the two-time Pro Bowl running back since the Falcons released him in March. The fact that Atlanta replaced him with Todd Gurley and his frightening injury concerns isn’t a good sign, and Freeman’s 3.6 YPC average in 2019 certainly isn’t helping matters either. Freeman’s own injury problems limited him to two games in 2018, so he is now two years removed from his last effective season. It’s nonetheless a bit of a surprise that there have been no rumors of interest in his services.
  8. Delanie Walker: The best tight end left on the market, Walker has battled injuries over the past two seasons and will turn 36 in August, so it makes sense that we haven’t heard too much about him lately. But while he may not be a TE1 anymore, he could still be a useful weapon in the passing game, and he also has a history of being a strong blocker. The Colts, Packers, and Redskins were said to be interested in him in March, and those teams continue to look like good fits even after the draft. The Ravens, who rely heavily on TEs and who traded Hayden Hurst to the Falcons this offseason, also make some sense.
  9. Eric Reid: The 28-year-old safety turned in what appeared to be a strong year in 2019, starting all 16 games for the Panthers and posting a career-best 130 tackles. The problem is, he may have had so many tackle opportunities because he allowed over 77% of throws in his vicinity to be completed. Still, he is an experienced and generally solid back-end defender, and the Texans — who employ his brother, Justin Reid seem like a logical fit.
  10. Darqueze Dennard: Dennard, a former first-round pick of the Bengals, thought he had a deal with the Jaguars in March. But Jacksonville backed out of the deal, and while there was no word on why that happened, it could be that health concerns made the Jags skittish. Dennard missed the first few weeks of the 2019 season due to a knee procedure, but he did play every game from Week 10 forward and graded out well in terms of Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. He has been Cincinnati’s primary slot corner over the past several seasons, but there has been no reported interest in him since the failed Jaguars pact.

Eagles Unwilling To Approach Jadeveon Clowney’s Asking Price?

Pass rushing stands as the Eagles’ biggest remaining need and Jadeveon Clowney stands as the best pass rusher left on the market. It seems like a natural fit for Howie Roseman & Co., but the Eagles’ don’t seem to have much interest in him at this time, according to SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan (via the Inside The Birds podcast).

[RELATED: Titans’ Mike Vrabel Hasn’t Spoken With Clowney]

In fact, the Eagles haven’t even been in touch with Clowney’s representatives, according to Caplan. Instead, the Eagles caught wind of Clowney’s asking price through the grapevine and quickly decided that it was too rich for their blood. When free agency started, Clowney was reportedly seeking $21MM. A few weeks in, he dropped that ask to somewhere around $17MM. Meanwhile, Caplan gets the sense that the Eagles would only explore Clowney if he slashed it down to about $10MM on a one-year deal. Even then, he’s not so sure the Eagles would bite.

Clowney, the top pick in the 2014 draft, has tallied 32 regular season sacks over the course of his career. Last year, he notched his first ever postseason sack and also caused a stir when he took out Carson Wentz with a late hit. For what it’s worth, Wentz recently said that he would be alright with Clowney joining the locker room.

I don’t think he had any ill will with that hit,” Wentz said (via Reuben Frank of NBC Sports). “That’s part of football. But he’s a heck of a player, so I trust Howie to make the right decisions to make our team the best we can be.”

Unless Clowney drastically lowers his price, it sounds like Roseman will pass on Clowney. No matter what, the Eagles will have to improve their edge group between now and September. Last year, the Eagles’ D ranked just 19th against the pass and Brandon Graham represented the team’s only reliable blitzer. In the draft, the Eagles nabbed some offensive linemen, a pair of linebackers, tons of speedy wide receivers, and even a quarterback in Jalen Hurts, but they did not select an edge rusher until the seventh round.

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Titans HC: I Haven’t Talked To Jadeveon Clowney

The Titans have been heavily connected to Jadeveon Clowney, but we haven’t heard much on that front in recent days. When head coach Mike Vrabel was asked the edge rusher on Thursday, he indicated that nothing is imminent.

[RELATED: Jadeveon Clowney Willing To Wait For Right Deal]

[I haven’t] talked to JD personally,” Vrabel said in an interview on SiriusXM (transcript via PFT). “I would say Jon and I continue to evaluate the roster and the available free agents. As of now, I would say that nothing is off the table but nothing is certainly on the table either. He’s not on the team.”

If the Titans were on the cusp of a deal with Clowney, he probably would have spoken directly with their head coach by now. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Clowney and his agent haven’t been in touch with GM Jon Robinson or other folks from Tennessee’s front office. In fact, last month, Robinson confirmed that he’s touched base with Clowney’s camp.

The Titans came into the offseason with edge help on their to-do list and they addressed it – at least, partially – by signing former Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley to a one-year deal. In the draft, they focused on other areas and only used one of their six selections on the D-Line. NC State’s Larrell Murchison could turn out to be a fine player, but he plays on the interior, and the fifth-round pick doesn’t offer the same kind of difference-making potential as Clowney.

The Clowney/Titans chatter figures to continue for a while, especially given his history with Vrabel. Vrabel coached him in Houston, guiding him to his best season ever in 2017. In that campaign, Clowney notched a career-high 9.5 sacks en route to his second of three Pro Bowl appearances.

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Latest On Jadeveon Clowney

The Seahawks don’t seem interested in re-signing Jadeveon Clowney and it could be a while before the edge rusher joins any NFL team. Jay Glazer of The Athletic hears that the free agent defensive end wants to wait a while – “perhaps as late as the summer” – before signing. 

Clowney isn’t the only notable vet willing to wait for the right deal. Former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is also said to be sitting tight, though he’s opening up to the idea of serving as someone’s backup in 2020. Clowney’s situation is different, but he might have to ease his own expectations in terms of salary.

When free agency opened, Clowney was said to be asking for $21MM/year. Weeks later, that ask was reduced to around $17-$18MM per annum. Since then, the Seahawks have pretty much tackled their edge needs with players like Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa. The Titans are said to still have interest in the former No. 1 overall pick; ditto for the Ravens and Eagles. The Browns – long believed to be a frontrunner – are also lurking. Clowney would profile as a potential upgrade over Olivier Vernon, whose contract could be easily wiped from the books.

Clowney didn’t play up to par last year in Seattle as he finished with just three sacks in 13 contests. However, he’s still only 27 and he has 32 career sacks to his credit, not to mention a No. 1 pick pedigree. Eventually, Clowney will find a solid one-year platform opportunity, but it might not come before the end of the month.

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