If past history is any indication, Jadeveon Clowney won’t seriously look to sign anywhere until training camp, and it probably wouldn’t hurt his feelings to miss a week or two of that. So it’s hard to get a sense of his market now because there’s a good chance an inevitable injury to a starting edge rusher is going to be what opens the door for him to find a new home.
It’s also tough because Clowney has burned a lot of bridges at this point. Some teams will have him off their free agent board entirely. He just turned 30, had only two sacks last season and publicly called out teammates and coaches which led to a benching.
However, he remains physically talented enough that if he’s locked in, he can wreck a game. Some team will probably roll the dice on that eventually, one with a coaching staff or front office that has a higher tolerance for perceived character risks when it comes to adding talented players.
The Eagles have looked into acquiring Clowney at a few different points when he’s been available the past several years, and they’re always on the lookout for ways to beef up their pass rush. It probably helps that this will be as cheap as Clowney has ever been.
Seattle is beefing up their front seven after it was a major weakness in 2022. Unlike some other teams, Clowney’s stint with the Seahawks appeared to go well and HC Pete Carroll spoke favorably about him before he ended up getting more money to sign elsewhere. The team was eighth in the NFL with 45 sacks in 2022 but adding Clowney to the rotation might be a way to take the Seahawks from good to great.
And if we’re discussing teams with a high tolerance for big personalities, we have to mention the Bengals. They’ve also seen Clowney up close the past two seasons in the division. He wouldn’t start for the team ahead of Sam Hubbard or Trey Hendrickson but he’d be an upgrade in the rotation if he’s willing to take a cheaper deal.
It’s worth mentioning that signing Clowney to a contract won’t impact a team’s 2024 compensatory picks, given that he was released this offseason.
Clowney, 30, is a former No. 1 overall pick of the Texans back in 2014. He was in the final year of his four-year, $22.272 million contract when the Texans picked up his fifth-year option which paid him $12.306 million for the 2018 season.
Houston franchised Clowney last year before trading him to the Seahawks at the start of the regular season. It took until September for him to a sign one-year deal worth up to $15 million with the Titans.
The Browns signed Clowney to a one-year deal before signing him to another one-year deal worth $11 million. Cleveland designated him as a post-June 1 release this offseason.
In 2022, Clowney appeared in 12 games for the Browns and recorded 28 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, a recovery, and three pass defenses.
We have him included in our Top 100 Available 2023 NFL Free Agents list.
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