Giants Rumors: Latest Free-Agent Buzz on Jadeveon Clowney, More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 17, 2020

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 12: Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 12, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The New York Giants were busy on the defensive front during the first day of legal tampering in the NFL, but they still have plenty of salary-cap space to make additional moves. 

The one major splash they could make is signing defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and according to The Record's Art Stapleton, they "are involved in pursuit" of the coveted free-agent target. 

Clowney is not the only target in mind to improve the defense, as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reported interest in linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who played for the New York Jets the last two seasons.

Defense had to be the top issue to address in the offseason since the Giants were one of nine NFL teams to concede over 6,000 total yards last season. 

New York also allowed the fifth-most passing yards and 13th-most rushing yards during a disastrous 4-12 campaign that was the last for Pat Shurmur as head coach.

The Joe Judge era needed to start with a focus on improving a unit that failed to provide much support to Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and the offense. 

The Giants took the first step in achieving that Monday by agreeing to a three-year deal with defensive back James Bradberry, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Because the NFC East side has an abundance of salary-cap space to work with, the $45 million deal, with $32 million guaranteed, for Bradberry will not hamper their pursuit of other marquee free agents. 

The team's NFL draft position could also have an effect on what the direction is in free agency.

Barring an unforeseen turn of events, the Giants will not be able to take Ohio State's Chase Young with the No. 4 overall pick.

Young is expected to go off the board to the Washington Redskins at No. 2, and if he is passed up there, the Detroit Lions could swoop him up at No. 3. 

Instead of bringing in a young, cheap pass-rush improvement, the Giants may have to spend more to fix that issue. 

Teaming Clowney with 2019 first-round pick Dexter Lawrence and Dalvin Tomlinson would solidify the interior and allow the Giants to focus on shoring up the pocket for Jones, or on Clemson's Isaiah Simmons in the draft.

In 13 games with the Seahawks in 2019, Clowney produced 31 tackles, 13 quarterback hits and three sacks. Those numbers came after back-to-back nine-sack seasons for the Houston Texans

As long as Clowney remains healthy, he would be a massive upgrade for the Giants, and he could help them make a move up the standings.

But the Giants should face competition for his signature, as one of Seattle's offseason goals was to bring him back, as ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported. 

The pursuit of Jenkins would likely cost less, even though he is coming off a pair of strong seasons with the Jets. 

In the last two seasons, Jenkins had 28 quarterback hits, 15 sacks and 15 tackles for loss, and he made just over $2 million in 2019.

If Jenkins inks a deal with the Giants, he would join David Mayo in a linebacker group that had four of the team's top six sack-producers last season. 

A free-agent move for Jenkins likely would not hamper the pursuit of Simmons in the draft because he might be the most versatile defensive prospect available.

Simmons played defensive end, linebacker and safety during parts of Clemson's season, so he could be used in all facets of the game plan, if the Giants go in that direction April 23. 

With steps already made to improve the defense, and a few potentially coming soon, the Giants could look much more competent on that side of the ball in Judge's first year in charge.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.

Contract information obtained from Spotrac.