Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney Done For Season

The Titans placed edge defender Jadeveon Clowney on injured reserve a little over two weeks ago, and the team hoped he might be back in time for a playoff push. However, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes, Clowney underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair his left meniscus and will require several months of rehab. As such, his season is over.

Clowney was perhaps the most-discussed player on the market this year, and his long free agency journey finally culminated in a one-year, $13MM pact with the Titans in August. Tennessee’s return on its investment was underwhelming, to say the least, as Clowney failed to produce a sack in eight games with the team.

Still, as has generally been the case with Clowney, the raw sack totals do not necessarily tell the whole story. Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics peg him as the 16th-best edge player in the league, out of 106 qualifiers, and PFF gives him above-average marks in both run defense and as a pass rusher (he grades exceptionally high in pass coverage).

That is perhaps why the Titans still have interest in re-signing Clowney. Rapoport says Tennessee could explore a new deal if the price is right, and given that the former No. 1 overall pick will be coming off a second consecutive disappointing season in terms of surface-level stats, he could very well be had on a modest contract.

The meniscus tear may also depress his market, especially considering his prior injury history. Fortunately, the latest injury was to his left knee, and the surgery was a straightforward affair with no complications. Earlier in his career, Clowney underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee.

He is expected to be fully recovered by the time free agency opens in March.

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Titans Place Jadeveon Clowney On IR

Jadeveon Clowney‘s bid at a long-term free agency deal did not go as expected this offseason, and his latest contract year has not unfolded especially well.

The Titans placed their big-ticket free agent pass rusher on IR Saturday. They had ruled Clowney out of Sunday’s game against the Ravens because of a knee injury, but he will now be out until at least Week 14.

Clowney missed Tennessee’s Week 8 tilt but returned to play in the team’s past two games. The former No. 1 overall pick, who signed a one-year deal worth $13MM in August, remains without a sack. He has not recorded a sack since November 2019, illustrating a Titans pass-rushing plan gone awry. The team cut free agency addition Vic Beasley earlier this month. Beasley joined Clowney in failing to register a sack as a Titan.

Although Clowney dealt with extensive knee trouble with the Texans — highlighted by microfracture surgery — he rebounded to make three Pro Bowls. But over the past two seasons, the well-rounded pass rusher’s stock has dropped thanks in large part to multiple injuries. Clowney considered meniscus surgery earlier this month but opted to return to Tennessee’s lineup. In light of Saturday’s news, it seems that operation has not been fully ruled out.

Clowney underwent surgery ahead of his 2018 season with Houston and missed time because of a core muscle injury with Seattle last year. However, this IR stay will result in Clowney entering Week 14 having missed at least five games. The 27-year-old defender has not been sidelined for that many contests since his 2014 rookie season. This will make Clowney’s pursuit of an elusive long-term deal more difficult.

The Titans promoted linebackers William Compton and Tuzar Skipper, along with cornerback Greg Mabin, and placed corner Kareem Orr on IR.

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Injury Updates: T. Brown, Garoppolo, Clowney

Let’s round up a few injury-related items from around the league.

  • Raiders OT Trent Brown is back on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says Brown is expected to miss at least a month of action (Twitter link).
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms a report from several days ago that 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will not require surgery on his injured ankle, but the 29-year-old signal-caller is expected to miss at least a month (Twitter link). The injury further clouds Garoppolo’s uncertain future in San Francisco.
  • Titans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney is out for today’s game against the Bears. He is dealing with a meniscus issue and may ultimately opt for surgery.
  • The Browns have a bye this week, and next time they’re on the field, they hope to be rejoined by Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb (Twitter link via Rapoport). Chubb has been dealing with an MCL injury, and though Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson have played reasonably well in his absence, getting Chubb back will be a big boost to Cleveland’s playoff push.
  • Some may be wondering if WR Odell Beckham has already played his last game for the Browns, as he will miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear and has never really embraced Cleveland. Kim Jones of WFAN reports that OBJ will undergo surgery to repair the ACL on Tuesday (Twitter link).
  • Ravens RB Mark Ingram left Baltimore’s game against the Eagles several weeks ago, and he still has not returned to action. Rapoport says Ingram is dealing with a high-ankle sprain (Twitter link), which explains the multi-week absence. Ingram has been ruled out for today’s game against the Colts, but younger backs Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins may be the better options anyway.
  • When the Eagles return to their facility following this week’s bye, they expect to have RB Miles Sanders back, and they believe WR Alshon Jeffery will be a full participant in practice (Twitter link via Rapoport).

Titans DE Jadeveon Clowney Considering Surgery

Jadeveon Clowney is questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Bears, but there’s a chance he’ll be sidelined for longer than that. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the Titans defensive end is currently dealing with a meniscus issue in his knee.

All options are on the table for the 27-year-old, including surgery. As Garafolo notes, Clowney has tried to battle through the injury, and there’s a chance he continues playing at less than 100 percent.

Clowney missed most of his rookie campaign as he recovered from a torn meniscus, but he’s otherwise stayed healthy throughout his career. The former first-overall pick has only missed four regular season games since the start of the 2017 campaign.

Following a one-year stint with the Seahawks, Clowney inked a one-year, $12MM deal with the Titans back in September. He’s been a bit underwhelming in Tennessee; in seven games, he’s compiled 15 tackles and zero sacks. Clowney played at least 80-percent of his team’s defensive snaps through the first three weeks of the season, but that number dropped all the way to 62 percent during last weekend’s loss to the Bengals. Of course, both his production and decline in playing time could be attributed to the injury he’s currently dealing with.

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AFC North Notes: Bullock, Hunt, Browns

The Bengals claimed K Austin Seibert off waivers from the Browns, and when that happened, most assumed that incumbent Randy Bullock would be placed on IR, or perhaps even released. However, head coach Zac Taylor said he expects Bullock to stay right where he is. “Randy’s our kicker,” Taylor said. (Twitter link via Ben Baby of ESPN.com).

Cincinnati suffered a difficult Week 1 loss against the Chargers, and Bullock shanked a 31-yard field goal try that would have sent the game to overtime. He also appeared to injure his left calf on the kick — though some are skeptical — but Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported that the injury isn’t serious (Twitter link). In fairness to Bullock, he did make a 50-yarder and a 43-yarder earlier in the game, and he converted his only PAT.

The Bengals take on Seibert’s former employer in a divisional battle tomorrow night.

Now for more from the AFC North:

  • The Browns recently handed running back Kareem Hunt a two-year extension, and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com has a few details. As previously reported, the new money can max out at $13.25MM, and Hunt will take home base salaries of $4MM, $1.3MM, and $1.35MM over the next three seasons. The remaining money will come via roster bonuses designed to make sure that Hunt keeps himself out of trouble. One is tied to his making it to training camp without incident, one is tied to his making it to Week 1 without incident, and one is tied to his making it to the end of the season without incident. He will also receive weekly 53-man roster bonuses.
  • In the same piece linked above, Cabot reports that the Browns were indeed the team that would have been involved in a Jadeveon Clowney sign-and-trade with the Saints. In the proposed deal, which the NFL nixed, Cleveland would have signed Clowney to a one-year, $15MM contract, including a $5MM signing bonus. The team would have then shipped Clowney to New Orleans in exchange for a second-round pick and a player.
  • Cabot further notes that the Browns should be getting CB Greedy Williams back soon. Williams missed the team’s Week 1 loss to the Ravens with a shoulder injury but is not expected to land on IR.
  • The Steelers placed right tackle Zach Banner on IR yesterday.

Texans Tried To Sign Jadeveon Clowney

Before he signed with the Titans, the Texans reached out to Jadeveon Clowney to gauge his interest in a reunion, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Ultimately, Clowney was not interested in returning to his longtime employer.

[RELATED: Texans Sign Watson To Four-Year Extension]

Clowney didn’t leave on the best of terms, but the Texans didn’t want to pass up the chance to improve their edge rush. They also didn’t want to leave an open lane for Clowney to join up with their divisional rivals. After being rebuffed, they’ll now face their former No. 1 overall pick twice per year. The Texans weren’t alone in that thinking, according to PFT’s Mike Florio. He hears that the Seahawks – Clowney’s last club – wanted to keep Clowney away from the Saints. Ditto for the Jaguars and Ravens, who wanted to block the Titans.

Chess game aside, the Texans’ interest in Clowney is an indication that they’d like to upgrade in the front seven. As it stands, Charles Omenihu is set to play opposite of J.J. Watt at defensive end. At outside linebacker, Whitney Mercilus and Brennan Scarlett are slated to start, with DE/OLB shuffling along the way.

In other Texans news, Deshaun Watson is now locked in through 2025 thanks to a four-year, $177MM+ extension. Patrick Mahomes still leads all QBs (and players) with an AAV of $45MM, but Watson’s $39MM AAV now ranks second among QBs to top the likes of Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Jared Goff.

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NFC South Notes: Saints, Clowney, Bucs

Before Jadeveon Clowney signed with the Titans, the Saints attempted to orchestrate a sign-and-trade in order to land the star edge rusher — but the NFL put the kibosh on such a maneuver, as Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com write. In the proposed scenario, an unidentified team (widely believed to be the Browns) would have signed Clowney to a one-year deal with a $5MM signing bonus and a $10MM base salary.

Clowney then would have been dealt to the Saints in exchange for a second-round pick, per the NFL scribes. The mystery team would have absorbed the $5MM signing bonus on its salary cap, giving the cap-strapped Saints the breathing room they would have needed in order to acquire Clowney. But the league office gave word it wouldn’t approve a deal that amounted to trading cap space.

“We felt like we got close,” Saints head coach Sean Payton said, via Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (Twitter link). “We weren’t able to match the money, and that’s one of the challenges every year. Mickey (Loomis) and Khai (Harley) did a great job working with (Clowney’s agent).” The Ravens may have also attempted a sign-and-trade strategy to land Clowney, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk indicates Baltimore tried to arrange a similar strategy involving the Jaguars. Tennessee ultimately landed Clowney on a one-year, $13MM pact that includes $2MM in incentives.

  • Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans is dealing with a hamstring injury and could be a game-time decision for Sunday’s tilt against the Saints, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Evans ended last season on injured reserve with a hamstring issue, but he hadn’t missed any time during camp, so the injury must have flared up recently. If Evans is forced to miss Week 1, Chris Godwin could see even more targets than usual, while Justin Watson and Scotty Miller would likely become more involved in Tampa Bay’s offense.
  • The Buccaneers‘ backfield split became extremely murky following the addition of Leonard Fournette, but head coach Bruce Arians says Ronald Jones is still the club’s starter, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Of course, Arians has been anything but fully truthful when it comes to running back touches over the years, but Jones should at least get the first snap of 2020. Arians said Fournette will have a “situational role” in Week 1 (Twitter link via Pewter Report), while LeSean McCoy should still be a factor on passing downs. Tampa Bay also worked out a number of running backs, including veteran Kenjon Barner, earlier this week, tweets Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com.
  • Saints owner Gayle Benson has thankfully recovered after contracting COVID-19 in August, as Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk writes. The 73-year-old Benson was not forced to spend any time in the hospital while quarantined, and was still able to take part in team business.

Jadeveon Clowney To Sign With Titans

Just a few days before the start of the 2020 regular season, Jadeveon Clowney finally has a new home. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Clowney is signing a one-year deal with the Titans that is worth at least $12MM and that will max out at $15MM (Twitter link).

Though Clowney’s name has been a prominent part of the NFL news cycle all offseason, his market really started to pick up within the past week or so. It was reported at the end of last month that the Ravens had emerged as the frontrunners for his services, and then we learned that the Titans and Saints were pushing to sign him. The Seahawks and Browns were among the other clubs that expressed legitimate interest during Clowney’s lengthy stay on the market.

According to Dianna Russini of ESPN.com — who first reported last night that Clowney was planning to sign with Tennessee — the Saints’ offer came in about $2MM lower than the Titans’ proposal (Twitter link). Dan Graziano of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that New Orleans really wanted to get a deal done and even talked to veterans already on the roster about reworking their contracts to create cap room. Graziano says Seattle continued to monitor the situation but ultimately felt that a $12MM minimum payout was too rich (Twitter link). And per Albert Breer of SI.com, Clowney wanted to sign with Baltimore, but the Ravens were perhaps more lukewarm on the idea than was reported (Twitter link).

As opposed to most of the other teams that were connected to Clowney, the Titans have been involved in the process all along. They extended an offer months ago and never stopped their pursuit. Given the presence of head coach Mike Vrabel — the Texans’ LB coach and defensive coordinator during Clowney’s first four years in Houston — and Tennessee’s relative proximity to Clowney’s South Carolina home, the Titans always felt like a logical fit.

Clowney, 27, is not without his detractors. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 draft battled injuries in the early part of his career, and he underwent core muscle surgery this offseason. For months, teams could not bring him into their facilities to evaluate him due to COVID-19 restrictions, and (fair or not) it seems that health concerns will always be a part of his resume.

There is also the issue of his lack of sack production to consider. Clowney has never posted double-digit sacks in a season, and he mustered just three with the Seahawks last season. On the other hand, Clowney supporters will point to his ability to disrupt a passing game even without gaudy sack totals, and he can be a menace against the run as well. He earned three consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2016-18, and the Titans hope his familiarity with Vrabel’s defense will help him return to that level of play.

It may take Clowney and fellow free agent acquisition Vic Beasley a week or two to get fully up to speed. But once they do, they will team with Harold Landry and Jeffery Simmons to form the foundation of an intriguing front seven, one that could certainly help the Titans get back to the postseason.

Clowney did not get the massive multi-year contract with a $20MM AAV that he was seeking when free agency opened, but he will have a good chance to improve his stock with the Titans. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Titans have agreed that they will not use the franchise tag on Clowney next offseason. That same provision was worked into his Seahawks deal after he was traded to Seattle last year and may have ultimately cost him several million dollars, but he is clearly willing to bet on his ability to land a long-term pact with significant guarantees. With the 2021 salary cap expected to decrease, though, even a career-best showing this year might not be enough to get him that type of deal next offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Decision Yet For Jadeveon Clowney 

While some reports have connected Jadeveon Clowney to the Titans, the free agent edge rusher says that he has “still not made a decision,” (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson). Clowney says “teams are still calling,” making it clear that he’s still weighing opportunities from multiple teams. 

The Saints and Titans have emerged as the frontrunners for the former No. 1 overall pick, but the Ravens and incumbent Seahawks are said to still be lurking. For months, the Titans have stood as one of Clowney’s most logical landing spots. With a clear need at DE, old pal Mike Vrabel patrolling the sidelines, and more cap flexibility than most clubs, the Titans make tons of sense. Still, they’re far from the only contender who could use more pressure against the pass.

Interestingly, Clowney has canned agent Bus Cook, just as he did over Labor Day Weekend 2019. Eventually, they worked out their differences and went back into business together. It remains to be seen whether another reunion will take place or if this will signal a return tour in Seattle.

Clowney’s sliding asking price has been well documented at this point. After asking for ~$20MM/year in March, Clowney has reportedly scaled things back to the $17MM/year neighborhood. The Browns tried to sign him for $15MM earlier this year, but the 27-year-old quickly rejected the offer.

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Seahawks, Ravens Still In Mix For Jadeveon Clowney?

4:34pm: Clowney has not closed the door on a Seattle return yet. While the Saints and Titans are leading the way at this point, the Seahawks sit third on the former No. 1 overall pick’s list, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The Seahawks were believed to have offered Clowney a deal worth around $15MM earlier this year, but as of late, the team is not believed to want to pay up for the standout defender.

3:34pm: Conflicting reports regarding the Ravens’ interest have surfaced. They are not, as of now, pursuing Clowney, according to Pro Football Talk. John Harbaugh did offer a vague statement Saturday indicating the team would have interest in a player of Clowney’s caliber, however (Twitter link via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley).

2:38pm: The Saints and Titans have emerged as the frontrunners for Jadeveon Clowney. Both teams have made strong pitches to sign the three-time Pro Bowler. But they are not the only teams pursuing him.

The Ravens loom as a wild card in this mix, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. While Baltimore has been linked to Clowney at multiple points this offseason, the reigning AFC North champions have not been viewed as aggressive suitors. However, the team still being in pursuit at this juncture is certainly notable.

A serious Ravens push for Clowney transpired a few weeks ago, per Fowler, who notes the Seahawks are not completely out of the running. However, they view their 2019 starter’s asking price as too high and are more in the monitoring stage at present.

Baltimore franchise-tagged Matt Judon and added defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe this offseason. But the Ravens relied extensively on blitzes for pressure last year and could use a bookend opposite Judon.

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