Last year, franchise-tagged defensive end Jadeveon Clowney skipped all offseason workouts, training camp, and the preseason before striking a deal that facilitated a Labor Day weekend trade from the Texans to the Seahawks. Clowney could be striking a Labor Day weekend deal for the second straight year.
“We have an offer out,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters on Friday. “We’ve been in contact with Jadeveon . . . and his agent. That’s all I can report. And that’s all I really know.”
The Seahawks remain interested in a reunion with Clowney, and the Saints reportedly are making a big push to sign him.
The question remains this: At what price? Clowney has held firm in his effort to get more than $15 million on a one-year deal. With regular-season games approaching (and potential regular-season game checks permanently disappearing), Clowney may need to simply take the best offer he can find — unless he’s willing to sit out.
From a team’s perspective, the risk is that Clowney will have injury issues, because he’s had them in the past. He’s more than five years removed from microfracture surgery, a knee procedure aimed at generating scar tissue that will simulate cartilage. Without cartilage, the knee enters a bone-on-bone situation. Last year, a core muscle/groin/sports hernia thing marred Clowney for much of the season.
But if he’s healthy, Clowney can be a very disruptive force, blowing holes in offensive lines and offensive game plans and allowing the rest of his teammates to make plays. He was a force of nature last year on a Monday night against the 49ers. If he can play like that consistently, he can be the difference between an early playoff exit and a Super Bowl appearance.
A fair compromise could be a sizable salary (maybe $10 million) with the ability to land between $15 million and $20 million based on playing time or statistics. Regardless, interest in Clowney currently is percolating. He could be landing with a new team soon.