Jadeveon Clowney expected to sign with surprising Super Bowl contender?

Seattle Seahawks edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jadeveon Clowney went into the offseason hoping to sign a record-setting contract as one of the top free-agent pass rushers. With Week 1 of the NFL season, Clowney might finally be close to landing with a team.

After months of frustrating NFL clubs with a massive asking price and turning down multiple lucrative offers, the former Seattle Seahawks edge rusher has driven away several suitors. However, with the regular season set to begin, it appears Clowney might soon find a home.

Latest news on Jadeveon Clowney

When the offseason began, Clowney sought a multi-year deal that would have paid him $20-plus million per season. Not only did he want to be one of the NFL’s highest-paid players, he was also only interested in signing with a team he believed was a Super Bowl contender.

Instead, the 27-year-old discovered NFL teams weren’t nearly as bullish on his talent. Clowney didn’t receive significant interest in free agency. One of the few teams that offered him a lucrative contract, the Cleveland Browns, repeatedly tried to convince him to sign. But the star defender never seemed interested in playing for the Browns.

When Clowney was still a free agent in May, with the 2020 NFL Draft over, he decided to wait until the summer before signing with a club. As the months went by and training camp arrived, he remained without a job.

Finally, Clowney’s free-agency saga might be coming to an end. According to ProFootballNetwork’s Tony Pauline, many around the league expect Clowney will sign with the Baltimore Ravens.

The speculation around league circles comes months after the Ravens were briefly linked to Clowney. After releasing Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, Baltimore could be looking to strengthen its pass rush as a means to balance out the recent hit to its secondary.

The Ravens currently have approximately $16 million in cap space, according to OvertheCap. While Clowney’s asking price at the start of free agency greatly exceeds that, Baltimore may now have the leverage to secure a team-friendly deal with the top free-agent edge rusher.

Jadeveon Clowney stats, injury history impact potential contract

On reputation alone, Clowney is an outstanding NFL player and would be a welcome addition for any team. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and has made an undeniable impact during his career.

However, a closer look at his stats and injury history demonstrates why he struggled to land a great contract this offseason and highlights why NFL teams are concerned about him.

Clowney played in just four games during his rookie season, missing significant time with a torn meniscus and he later underwent microfracture surgery. After missing the entire preseason in 2015, he returned and played in 13 games. In his first two NFL seasons, Clowney recorded just 4.5 sacks with eight quarterback hits.

Just as many started labeling him a draft bust, he turned things around in his third season with the Houston Texans. While he recorded just six sacks in 14 games, it came with 17 quarterback hits, 16 tackles for loss and he was named second-team All-Pro.

Over his next two seasons in Houston, Clowney combined for 42 quarterback hits, 37 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl twice. When his contract demands exceeded Bill O’Brien’s price range, the Texans traded him to Seattle.

Unfortunately, the inability to stay healthy reappeared and Clowney struggled to produce for the Seahawks. He dealt with a core muscle injury for a majority of the 2019 season, playing in just 13 games and recording three sacks.

Inconsistent production and a lack of durability aren’t the only concerns NFL teams have about Clowney. Multiple teams question his work ethic and his dedication to football, an alarming issue for a player seeking a massive contract.

The Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles are among a handful fo teams that showed interest in Clowney this offseason but negotiations went south. With time running out before the regular season begins, it might be in Clowney’s best interest to sign whatever contract the Ravens offer.