Jadeveon Clowney Rumors: Star DE's Market 'Thinning Rather Than Growing'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) plays against the Cleveland Browns during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Jadeveon Clowney took a deliberate approach to free agency ahead of the 2020 NFL regular season, but it might be backfiring rather than increasing his leverage.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Tuesday that Clowney's market "appear[s] to be thinning rather than growing."

According to Robinson, the three-time Pro Bowler is looking to earn $17 million per year on his next contract, which is a little too high for the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and Las Vegas Raiders:

"There is even some question about the depth of interest within the Raiders, as one source familiar with the organization said there is a 'varied' appetite for the Clowney pursuit, depending on whether you’re speaking to head coach Jon Gruden or general manager Mike Mayock. The source said Mayock appears to be squarely in the same 'price point' camp as the Titans and Seahawks."

The fact that no team was willing to meet Clowney's asking price earlier in the offseason wasn't a big surprise. He underwent core muscle surgery, and COVID-19-related restrictions meant teams couldn't invite free agents to their facilities for workouts and physicals.

Clowney's gambit made sense because his chances of landing a big contract would seemingly improve once those restrictions were lifted and teams would be faced with the injuries that are inevitable in training camp.

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

Potential torn ACLs of #49ers WR Jalen Hurd & #Cowboys DL Gerald McCoy underscore part of what Jadeveon Clowney has gambled on by not signing. Contending #NFL teams will lose some talent to injuries. It *could* facilitate a willingness to mitigate talent losses by signing Clowney

Perhaps that will still hold true. Maybe the 27-year-old defensive end will finally call the bluff of a general manager desperate to strengthen his front seven.

Time is running out for that to happen since the Kansas City Chiefs kick off the season against the Houston Texans on Sept. 10. Even if he were to sign right now, Clowney would have less than a month to learn his new team's defensive scheme and adjust to his surroundings.

There's a certain level of irony to this situation.

Last year, the Houston Texans waited until well after the July 15 extension deadline to trade Clowney. That meant any team acquiring him would have to wait until the offseason to negotiate a long-term contract, and as a result, Houston got a meager return from the Seattle Seahawks.

Now, Clowney's contract demands may have created the same problem.