NFL Free Agents 2020: Latest Rumors, Buzz on Jadeveon Clowney, Andy Dalton

Martin FennContributor IIIMay 2, 2020

Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) rushes against the Cleveland Browns during an NFL football game in Cleveland, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019,(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

Most of the focus in NFL front offices the last few weeks has been how best to strategize for and adapt to a fully virtual draft.

But with the conclusion of the draft on April 25, the attention shifts back to making the most of remaining cap space and finding players who might prove to be a vital cog for any given team in 2020.

A number of quality free agents are still on the market. From aging stars like offensive tackle Jason Peters and tight end Delanie Walker to younger and more athletic players such as cornerback Logan Ryan and edge-rusher Jadeveon Clowney, a plethora of players are looking for employment.

Here is the latest on Clowney's market, as well as one team particularly interested in veteran quarterback Andy Dalton.


Jadeveon Clowney "Not in a Hurry to Sign"

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Clowney was one of the premier defensive players on the market when the legal tampering period began back in March. Yet he still remains unsigned.

Dianna Russini of ESPN reported the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans continue to show interest and have made "multiple offers" to sign Clowney but also said the offers have fallen short of Clowney's asking price.

Russini also reported sources around the league believe Clowney is "just not in a hurry to sign."

Clowney is unquestionably one of the most talented defensive players in the game. He tallied four forced fumbles and an interception last season in addition to a pair of touchdowns, and he is almost as skilled dropping into coverage as he is rushing the passer.

In the same token, Clowney lacks the traditional numbers of other elite edge guys. He had just 3.0 sacks and 13 quarterback hits last season. There is also a history of injuries, and Clowney underwent core muscle surgery this offseason to address an issue that apparently hampered him for a good chunk of the 2019 season.

The 27-year-old had hoped his market would improve given what other marquee defensive lineman have gotten thus far. The San Francisco 49ers signed Arik Armstead to a contract worth $17 million in annual average value (AAV), per Spotrac. The Indianapolis Colts then traded for Niners defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, subsequently inking him to a deal worth $21 million AAV.

Clowney lowered his asking price at the start of April, but it seems his suitors have not shown much willingness to meet his demands.

The Seahawks signed Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa and drafted Tennessee edge-rusher Darrell Taylor, but they have never wavered in their desire to bring Clowney back to Seattle.

Signing Clowney would seem to make even more sense for Tennessee. The Titans signed former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley Jr., but they also traded away five-time Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey and could probably use more talent in the front seven.


Jaguars "Absolutely Interested" in Andy Dalton

Gary Landers/Associated Press

The Cincinnati Bengals ended their nine-year partnership with longtime starting quarterback Andy Dalton on Thursday after Dalton requested his release, officially making him a free agent.

Unlike Clowney, Dalton might not have to wait long before finding a new home.

Jeff Darlington of ESPN reported the Jacksonville Jaguars are "absolutely interested" in Dalton, and ESPN's Jeremy Fowler previously reported the Jags were one of the teams that looked into his availability before his release on Thursday.

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone added on Friday on Good Morning Football (h/t NFL Network's Ian Rapoport) the team was interested in adding a veteran quarterback, though he said second-year signal-caller Gardner Minshew is still slated to be the starter in Jacksonville.

Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Inquirer also reported the New England Patriots as one of the teams interested in Dalton, though there has been less noise on that front.

Dalton went 2-11 in 13 starts with the Bengals last season, throwing for close to 3,500 yards and 16 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. The writing was on the wall for him as soon as the team made LSU quarterback Joe Burrow the No. 1 overall pick, and he will pursue other opportunities.

The 32-year-old might hope to instill a sense of competition at the quarterback spot for teams like the Jags, Pats or Los Angeles Chargers, but it seems more likely Dalton will be a backup in 2020.


All stats obtained via Pro Football Reference and all contract information via Spotrac, unless otherwise noted.