As free agency nears the end of its second week, most of the top available NFL players have become unavailable. There are some exceptions, though, and the market is padded by potential trade targets.
One of the most well-known players still floating in the free-agent pool is pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney. The three-time Pro Bowler did not receive the franchise tag from the Seattle Seahawks and has been available since the beginning of free agency. Seeing as how he plays one of the game's most important roles, one would think he would be carrying significant interest.
According to The Athletic's Stephen Holder, his availability nine days after free agency opened is due to Clowney's asking price:
"There's a reason Clowney is still unsigned. League sources have bemoaned Clowney's significant contract demands. One front-office source said Clowney is hoping to fetch $21 million a year. That's a ton of cash for a player who has never had more than 9.5 sacks in a single season, even while playing alongside All-Pro J.J. Watt in Houston."
It's worth noting that a pass-rusher's efficacy shouldn't be measured in sacks alone. Fans who watched the first matchup between the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers last season got an idea of how Clowney can wreck an offensive game plan without amassing gaudy sack numbers. However, it's also fair to view Clowney as more of a do-it-all defender than a true sack-artist.
In his lone 16-game season, 2017, Clowney had 9.5 sacks. He also had 59 tackles, two passes defended and two forced fumbles. Those are strong numbers, but they don't scream $20-plus million per year.
According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, with big-money offers not pouring in, Clowney is going to be patient with his decision.
"No one has met Clowney's price or even, from what I understand, really come close to it," Rapoport said on Total Access. " So at this point, it seems he is willing to wait for the right deal."
Clowney's process could take him back to the Seahawks. He knows the system there, should have a good shot at returning to the postseason and could revitalize his market with a strong 2020 campaign. He reportedly also enjoyed his time in Seattle.
"He told me how much he loves the culture and how much he loves being in Seattle and how he thinks it taught him how to be a professional in a way that he hadn't been previously," NFL Media's Michael Silver said on 710 ESPN Seattle's Bob, Dave and Moore. "So I believe, all things being equal, that he would love to stay with the Seahawks."
Odell Beckham Jr. Not Likely to Be Traded
Teams looking to add a wide receiver have largely run out of options on the free-agent market. Players like Paul Richardson and Demaryius Thomas are still available, but there isn't a No. 1 receiver in the bunch.
Therefore, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a team try trading for a No. 1-type receiver between now and the draft. The San Francisco 49ers, who are armed with two first-round picks and who need a replacement for Emmanuel Sanders, could be one of those teams.
Could Odell Beckham Jr. be a target for the 49ers? CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported last offseason that San Francisco was interested when Beckham was still with the New York Giants. Beckham is now a member of the Cleveland Browns, though, and according to The Athletic's Jay Glazer, he isn't a target.
"No truth to [rumored interest]," Glazer wrote. "Sorry, gang. I know the 49ers loved him, but they are trying to rebuild draft capital, not give up draft capital."
So San Francisco isn't likely to make a run at Beckham. The Browns aren't eager to move him, either, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
"[General manager Andrew] Berry did say he'd listen to offers, but he's not actively trying to trade OBJ," Cabot wrote.
While the Browns may decide that Beckham isn't the right fit for their offense, it appears that he will get at least one more season in Cleveland to prove himself.
Vikings Interested in Darryl Roberts
The New York Jets released cornerback Darryl Roberts on Saturday, sending the four-year veteran to the open market. Now, the Minnesota Vikings are interested in adding him, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
Chris Tomasson @christomasson
#Vikings have expressed interest in CB Darryl Roberts, cut by Jets last Saturday. But they haven't made an offer and other teams might be higher on his potential list. Roberts, a four-year veteran, had a career-high 11 tackles vs Vikings in 2018, 2 for loss, and 2 passes defended
That move would make a lot of sense. Minnesota lost cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander to free agency and then parted with Pro Bowler Xavier Rhodes. While the Vikings do have up-and-coming corner Mike Hughes on the roster, they could use depth at the position.
Roberts would provide depth, and he could fill a starting role if needed. He made 10 starts in 2019, finishing the year with 63 tackles, six passes defended and an interception. Originally a seventh-round draft pick of the New England Patriots, Roberts has started 26 games in his four pro seasons.
Likely a budget signing at this point in free agency, Roberts should also be a fit for Minnesota financially. The team has just under $12 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.