Three-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney remains one of the top NFL free agents on the market heading into the summer.
It was noted earlier this spring that Clowney was likely to re-sign with he Cleveland Browns after he teamed up with Myles Garrett to tally nine sacks a season ago. However, nothing has happened on that end yet.
The former No. 1 overall pick from South Carolina has to be on the radar of multiple teams heading into a slow part of the offseason. He’s not scheme specific, has had a ton of success in the past and is still relatively young at the age of 29. Below, we look at four ideal landing spots for Clowney.
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Jadeveon Clowney re-signs with the Cleveland Browns
This still seems to make the most sense. Clowney put up his best performance since 2018 under Joe Woods last season. He seemed to be a perfect fit opposite star edge rusher Myles Garrett.
The question here remains finances. Is Clowney still looking to collect a long-term deal? If not, he might be looking at a lucrative short-term contract. Cleveland currently finds itself a league-high $26.96 million under the salary cap. It has the cash to re-sign Clowney.
- Jadeveon Clowney contract (2021): one-year, $8 million
It sure seems like Clowney is looking at a bit more than that if he were to re-sign with the Browns for one year. Said deal would likely come in at $12 million. Will Cleveland pony up he cash for that? It remains to be seen.
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Indianapolis Colts bring Jadeveon Clowney back to the AFC South
In obvious win-now mode after trading for Matt Ryan, there’s a chance that Colts general manager Chris Ballard looks to add another veteran to the mix. Indy already acquired fellow Pro Bowl edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier in the offseason. Teaming him up with Clowney would be all sorts of ridiculous.
- Jadeveon Clowney stats (2021): 37 tackles, 19 QB hits, 11 tackles for loss, nine sacks, two forced fumbles
With Clowney/Ngakoue doing their thing out on the edge and All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner dominating inside, the Colts’ defense would be an absolute force in 2022.
Los Angeles Rams go big-game hunting again
We would not put it past the always active Les Snead to pull another big-name out of his hat. Earlier this offseason, the defending champions shockingly signed Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson away from the Chicago Bears. It’s the latest of several big-ticket names Los Angeles’ general manager has added to the mix over the past several years.
With the Rams having also lost Von Miller to the Buffalo Bills in free agency, there’s certainly a need out on the edge next to stud defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The issue here is rather obvious. While the Rams like to pretend the salary cap doesn’t exist, it’s an actual thing around the NFL. Los Angeles finds itself a mere $4.66 million under the cap. Perhaps, the team could restucture the contract of Jalen Ramsey to make this work. Los Angeles is also in contract extension talks with Donald. Said deal could lower his $26.75 million cap hit for the 2022 season.
Dallas Cowboys hit home run with Jadeveon Clowney
The loss of Randy Gregory to the Denver Broncos in free agency certainly hurt defensive coordinator Dan Quinn after he led a surprising unit a season ago. No, signing a reclamation project in Dante Fowler Jr. doesn’t change much here. Even after drafting the troubled Sam Williams, there’s certainly a need out on the edge in Big D.
Currently $10.93 million under the cap, Dallas isn’t necessarily in a position to offer Clowney a big one-year deal. However, Jerry Jones and Co. could very well opt to sign him to a multi-year contract with a lower cap figure in 2022. Something like two years and $24 million. The cap is set to increase big time in 2023 and Ezekiel Elliott’s contract might come off the books by then.