Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports said Thursday on 102.5 The Game that Clowney has been completely uninvolved in contract negotiations, to the point he is alienating teams. Interested parties reportedly cannot even get Clowney to speak with them on the phone.
"Teams are like, 'This is crazy,'" Robinson said.
Clowney has been a free agent since March. The Seahawks and Titans are reportedly offering one-year deals in the $12 million range, and Clowney is said to have turned down $17-18 million from the Cleveland Browns.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Clowney had 31 tackles and three sacks in 2019, both full-season career lows. Those numbers vastly undersell Clowney's impact, though, as Pro Football Focus gave him an elite 87.3 overall grade for the season. He is the rare edge-rusher who is every bit as effective against the run as he is the pass.
Still just 27 years old, Clowney has several years' worth of prime football remaining in his career and has always been more effective than what sack numbers would have most assume.
However, his enigmatic personality—clearly on display in these negotiations—may have turned off some teams. He also has undergone multiple knee surgeries in his career, which could have dissuaded teams from offering a long-term deal.
It's nevertheless a surprise to see him still on the market with just a week remaining before kickoff.