Tyrann Mathieu, Jadeveon Clowney Top Landing Spots After 2022 NFL Draft Day 2April 30, 2022
A host of talented free agents remain available as the NFL draft continues from Las Vegas, including safety Tyrann Mathieu and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Following the first three rounds, there's a greater sense of clarity regarding where Mathieu and Clowney best fit.
For Mathieu, the clear top landing spot remains the Philadelphia Eagles. Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus called them the best possible fit for the former LSU star. The Las Vegas Raiders also appear to be a fit.
As for Clowney, a return to the Cleveland Browns makes the most sense for multiple reasons, but the Kansas City Chiefs may be a good landing spot too.
Mathieu and the Eagles have been heavily connected this offseason, but nothing has come to fruition, per Tim McManus of ESPN.
"There's been mutual interest between the Eagles and safety Tyrann Mathieu. They hosted him on a virtual visit last week, a league source confirmed an NFL Network report, and have been in communication with him for longer than that. Mathieu, 29, would address a major need and help solidify Philadelphia's back end, but to this point, the Eagles haven't been aggressive to seal the deal."
The Eagles aren't messing around this offseason, though, by trading for stud wideout A.J. Brown and signing him to a four-year, $100 million extension. They also loaded up in the draft on defense with a pair of Georgia stars (Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean) too.
Philadelphia needs some help on the back end of the defense, though, with Rodney McLeod now on the Indianapolis Colts.
A wild card here is the Las Vegas Raiders. They notably declined their fifth-year option (for 2023) on safety Jonathan Abram and could be in the market for more secondary help.
NFL insider Jordan Schultz already reported that the Silver and Black had interest:
Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report
Have also been told the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Raiders?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Raiders</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dolphins?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dolphins</a> have interest in Honey Badger, but again — I could potentially see this taking time as well.
And it appears Raiders star edge-rusher Maxx Crosby wants him onboard too.
We'll see where one the league's top safeties goes soon enough. As for Clowney, a return to Cleveland makes a lot of sense, especially with the Browns trading for three-time Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson to call signals. Cleveland should be in playoff contention, and that could be a big selling point for Clowney, who has never made a Super Bowl.
Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reported that the Watson addition made it "more likely" Clowney would return to where he played in 2021.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal's Nate Ulrich, Clowney's agent Kennard McGuire said on March 28 that the Browns and his client have "mutual interest." 850 ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi also pegs Clowney to return.
A potential wild card could be the Chiefs, even though they added defensive end George Karlaftis in the draft. Frankly, you can't have enough pass-rushers in the pass-happy NFL, and Clowney would be another big addition to a Chiefs team whose Super Bowl window will always be wide open with quarterback Patrick Mahomes running the show.
Kevin Skiver of the Sporting News called Kansas City a potential landing spot.
"Mercenary Clowney heading to a team like the Chiefs also makes too much sense. They're about level with the Browns in terms of cap space, and they have the returns to convince Clowney he's joining a Super Bowl competitor. Chris Jones and Frank Clark are good ends for Kansas City, but defensive lines in the NFL need a good rotation to succeed."
Ultimately, Clowney and Mathieu are drawing interest in their services this year. They have the luxury of pursuing their options and picking the best fit given their immense talents. For now, though, they remain free agents as they look toward the future.