Jadeveon Clowney

Latest On Jadeveon Clowney

Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be one of the most sought-after free agents this year, if the Seahawks let him get away. Seattle traded for the former Texans star in August, and the team wants him back. “He’s a terrific football player and he had a big impact on us,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “We would love to have him back.”

Carroll also revealed that Clowney will require core-muscle surgery, which is expected to take place in the next week or so. The core injury limited Clowney down the stretch of the 2019 season, though he was able to suit up for the Seahawks’ regular season finale and their two playoff contests. His injury history, though not insignificant, will likely not stop him from landing a massive deal, whether that’s from Seattle or someone else.

For his part, Clowney wants to play for a contender. The former No. 1 overall pick told reporters, including Brady Henderson of ESPN.com, “I just want to win. I ain’t looking to get on no sorry team for no money. That ain’t going to fly. I ain’t gonna put my body through all of that just to lose no 16 games, go home with my check.”

Clowney posted just three sacks in 2019, though that belies the impact he had on opposing passers and in the running game. One of the most complete defenders in football, the three-time Pro Bowler cannot be slapped with the franchise or transition tag pursuant to the terms of the Texans-Seahawks trade.

If Clowney ends up signing elsewhere, the Seahawks would likely be in line to recoup a third-round compensatory draft choice in 2021. But Seattle is presently projected to have over $60MM of cap space in 2020, so a re-up could be in the cards.

While plenty of teams would love to have Clowney, the clubs that will be prioritizing an edge rusher and also profile as contenders include the Ravens, Titans, and (possibly) Falcons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Eagles, Jacobs, Steelers, Hawks

Afflicted with injuries to their receiving corps for most of the season, the Eagles will be severely shorthanded on this front in their win-and-in game Sunday. In addition to Nelson Agholor missing another game, Zach Ertz is not ready to return. Carson Wentz‘s top target will miss Week 17 due to back and ribs injuries. Ertz left the Eagles’ Week 16 win, leaving second-year tight end Dallas Goedert as Wentz’s most proven target.

Here is the latest from Philadelphia and other contending teams’ injury situations going into the regular season’s final Sunday:

  • While the Eagles are stripped of their top three wide receivers and their premier tight end, Jordan Howard will return. The fourth-year running back missed Philadelphia’s past six games due to a shoulder injury. The Eagles’ leading rusher when the injury surfaced at the midseason point, Howard will rejoin a backfield that’s seen more from Miles Sanders and some contributions from Boston Scott.
  • Moving to another playoff hopeful’s running back situation, the Raiders will be without Josh Jacobs on Sunday in Denver. The team declared Jacobs out, meaning he will miss a third game in his past four. Their offensive rookie of the year candidate is battling a shoulder malady and a skin condition, the latter prompting him to undergo a minor surgery this week. Jacobs missed Week 14 and Week 16 due to a shoulder injury. Free agent-to-be DeAndre Washington has filled in well for Jacobs, amassing 202 scrimmage yards in those two games. The Raiders need to win and receive another Sunday of good fortune to make the playoffs.
  • One of the teams the Raiders need to lose Sunday will be shorthanded on the ground as well. James Conner will miss the Steelers‘ regular-season finale, joining Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey in that regard. After missing a chunk of Pittsburgh’s season with a shoulder injury, Conner is now dealing with a quad problem. Pouncey is down due to a knee ailment.
  • Most of the non-Marshawn Lynch Seahawks news this week centers around the players who will not be available Sunday night, but the team will have some key players back in uniform. Jadeveon Clowney and Shaquill Griffin missed Seattle’s past two games but will be on the field in Sunday’s de facto NFC West championship game against San Francisco. Clowney is still battling the core issue that he initially played through but one that’s caused him to miss time.
  • The 49ers placed another defensive lineman on IR. Defensive tackle Jullian Taylor will end his season on the injured list because of an ACL tear sustained in practice this week, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. A 2018 seventh-round pick, Taylor played in six 49ers games this season. Defensive linemen Taylor, Ronald Blair, D.J. Jones and Damontre Moore reside on San Francisco’s IR list.

Injury Notes: Clowney, Ravens, Ramsey, Jacobs

Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t played in two weeks, but the 26-year-old is anxious to get back on the field for the Seahawks. The defensive lineman told ESPN’s Brady Henderson that “there’s no way” he’ll miss his team’s season finale against the 49ers. Clowney also acknowledged that the two missed games will help him in the postseason.

“Oh, for sure,” he said. “I’m in a way better place … I’ve been a lot better than I was the week before.”

Clowney missed Week 15 against the Panthers with the flu, and he was out for Week 16 against the Cardinals to deal with a lingering core injury. Henderson notes that Clowney was listed as limited on the Seahawks’ first injury report of the week.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Mark Ingram won’t be the only Ravens player missing their team’s Week 17 game against the Steelers. Coach John Harbaugh told reporters that safety Earl Thomas, offensive lineman Marshal Yanda, and defensive end Brandon Williams also won’t play this weekend (via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic on Twitter). With Baltimore already having locked up a bye, the coaching staff is clearly playing it safe and providing the veterans with an extra week of rest.
  • Cornerback Jalen Ramsey will miss the Rams game against the Cardinals on Sunday. Coach Sean McVay told reporters that Ramsey is dealing with a strained lateral collateral ligament that was suffered during the team’s loss to the 49ers. The Rams sent a pair of first-rounders (along with a fourth-rounder) to the Jaguars for Ramsey, and the 25-year-old ended up chipping in 33 tackles, four passes defended, an interception, and one forced fumble in nine games (eight starts) for Los Angeles.
  • Raiders running back Josh Jacobs underwent a minor operation that shouldn’t keep him out of the lineup for Week 17. “Josh Jacobs woke up with discomfort in his leg on Wednesday and he was evaluated and treated for a superficial skin infection,” the team said (via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter). While Jacobs will be in the lineup to help the Raiders secure an unlikely playoff spot, he’s still be a bit banged up. We heard earlier this month that the rookie was dealing with a shoulder ailment.

Seahawks Notes: Lynch, Clowney, Brown

We’re all on Beast Mode watch. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Marshawn Lynch‘s physical “went well and as expected.” That was naturally a major hurdle as the Seahawks look to bring back the beloved veteran running back.

We learned earlier today that Lynch was set to meet with his former organization, and coach Pete Carroll was pretty candid about the team’s interest in the back.

“He’s been working really hard,” Carroll said (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “He’s really excited about the chance to do something helping out, and I think it’s freakin’ great if he could get out there and tote the ball for us. The circumstances rolled just at this time, and he could have four or five games left in him. Maybe that’s what we need.

“He’s had plenty of time to be working and get ready in case something came up, and I’m anxious to see him when we get him here. There’s a lot of history here that’s great history. There was nobody that ever amplified the kind of mentality and toughness that we like to play with, so if we get a chance to get the Beast back on the field, we’ll see how that works out.”

As we wait for the inevitable signing, let’s check out some more notes out of Seattle…

  • With the team’s running back corps all but depleted, the Seahawks have already added one former player today: Robert Turbin. As Henderson writes, the running back’s familiarity and chemistry were major factors in his addition. In fact, Turbin was a part of Russell Wilson‘s wedding party back in 2016, and the two were road roommates during Turbin’s time in Seattle.
  • Carroll expects defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to be on the field for Sunday’s showdown with the 49ers. “I think JD’s playing,” the head coach said (via The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar on Twitter). “I don’t think there’s any question he’s gonna play.” Clowney has been dealing with a core-muscle injury since Week 10, and the ailment kept him out of the lineup vs. the Cardinals. During his first season in Seattle, Clowney has compiled 20 tackles, three sacks, and four forced fumbles.
  • Left tackle Duane Brown had surgery to trim his meniscus today, reports Rapoport (via Twitter). The operation generally has a two- or three-week recovery time, meaning the veteran could be back at some point during the playoffs. The 34-year-old has spent the past three seasons with the Seahawks, and he started each of his 12 games this season.

West Rumors: Clowney, 49ers, Chiefs

Jadeveon Clowney returned to practice Friday, and Pete Carroll expects his top defensive end to play against the Vikings. But it looks like the former No. 1 overall pick will have to battle some pain the rest of the way. The Seahawks defender practiced for the first time since suffering a core muscle injury, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (via Twitter) the sixth-year defender believes he can put off surgery until the offseason. But another surgery appears likely for Clowney, who missed all of the Texans’ 2018 offseason program because of a knee surgery. He also underwent microfracture surgery earlier in his career. While this core issue likely will not impact Clowney’s potential free agency much, his ability to play through this malady should be something to monitor for the rest of this season.

Here is the latest from around the NFL:

  • Joe Staley missed last week’s 49ers blowout because of a broken finger, but the veteran left tackle returned to practice Friday and worked through a limited practice Saturday. Staley has only played in three games this season, missing most of San Francisco’s resurgence with a broken leg. He’s questionable to face the Ravens.
  • Sunday’s marquee game will not include Dee Ford, who remains out with a quad and hamstring injuries. Boasting one of the deepest defensive lines in recent NFL history, the 49ers are uniquely covered on this front. Ford’s stretch run, though, could be pivotal to his future. The 49ers signed the ex-Chief to a frontloaded deal that does not contain any guaranteed money after this season.
  • The Chiefs have not enjoyed much backfield consistency this season, and that trend will continue Sunday. Starter Damien Williams will miss the Raiders rematch with a rib injury, leaving LeSean McCoy and second-year back Darrel Williams set to man the backfield in Kansas City.
  • Drew Lock is now on the Broncos’ active roster. The second-round rookie has been out for more than three months due to a thumb injury.
  • Although the Cardinals have yet to approach Patrick Peterson about another extension, the All-Pro cornerback would welcome such discussions.

Injury Updates: Rams, Clowney, Brady

Rams wideout Brandin Cooks is set to return from the fifth known concussion of his six-year career. While the veteran has continually been sidelined by the dangerous head injury, he told reporters that his latest concussion didn’t make him consider retirement.

“Absolutely not,” Cooks told ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “When it happened, that never went through my mind. Even now, it’s not going through my mind.”

Cooks suffered a pair of concussions in a 25-day span, and he traveled to Pittsburgh twice to meet with the director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Following those meetings, Cooks felt comfortable returning to the field.

“One of the biggest things that I learned, concussions is a case-by-case thing,” said Cooks. “Mine was very unique, and just thankful once again to be able to go and get answers.”

Cooks won’t be the only Rams receiver returning to the lineup. Thiry writes that Robert Woods returned to practice this week after missing last week’s contest due to “personal issues.” The 6-4 Rams will take on the Ravens on Monday night.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a game-time decision after missing three practices this week due to a hip injury, tweets ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Clowney didn’t travel with the team to Philadelphia as he gets his hip checked out. Clowney suffered the injury during Monday’s win over the 49ers. In his first season with Seattle, the 26-year-old has compiled 25 tackles, three sacks, and three forced fumbles.
  • The Eagles will be dealing with injuries of their own, as Lane Johnson is set to miss the matchup against Seattle. The veteran right tackle suffered a head injury during last weekend’s loss to the Patriots, and he remains in the concussion protocol. Rookie first-rounder Andre Dillard will slide into the starting lineup.
  • No surprise here, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will play vs. the Cowboys tomorrow. The 42-year-old was listed as questionable on the injury report thanks to an elbow injury. Brady hasn’t missed a game due to injury since the 2008 campaign.
  • Some good news on the Giants injury front: the team announced that wideout Sterling Shepard, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and offensive lineman Nate Solder have all cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Bears. Jenkins and Solder both left the Giants’ Week 10 loss to the Jets, while Shepard hasn’t seen the field since Week 5.

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.