For the second straight year, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will have a crack at the open market in March.
Per a source with knowledge of the terms, Clowney’s compensation of “up to” $15 million on a one-year deal with the Titans includes a promise not to use the franchise tag in 2021. It means that, if Clowney’s reunion with Titans coach Mike Vrabel results in a great season for Clowney, he’ll be eligible for the open market.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Clowney will leave. After five years with the Texans and one with the Seahawks, Clowney wants to find a place to play for multiple years to come. He has a comfort level with Vrabel, based on their years together in Houston.
Clowney also lands on a defense where, for the first time in his career, he can be “the guy.” He wasn’t “the guy” in Houston (J.J. Watt was), and Clowney wasn’t “the guy” in Seattle (Bobby Wagner was). In Tennessee, Clowney — despite signing one week before the regular-season opener — has a real chance to instantly become the most important and impactful piece of the defense.
Also making Tennessee attractive is the fact that he’ll face the Texans twice this year, including a Week 17 return to Houston. Other teams that will have to figure out how to contain the king of the “eff up the play” stat include the Broncos, Vikings, Steelers, Bills, Bengals, Bears, Ravens, Browns, Lions, Packers, and Tennessee’s other two rivals in the AFC South, the Colts and Jaguars.