Jadeveon Clowney free agency: Giants, Titans, Bills among best fits for Seahawks pass-rusher in 2020

first_imgJadeveon Clowney is the best edge rusher available in 2020 NFL free agency. Although he wants to return to the Seahawks, who traded with the Texans to get him right before the 2019 season began, he might be too expensive for Seattle to keep for the long term.​Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick of Houston in the 2015 NFL Draft, turned 27 in February, so he still has several good seasons left. Battling to play through a core muscle injury last season, he was disruptive when pressuring quarterbacks (despite only 3 sacks) and stopping the run over 13 productive games. He also recorded an interception and scored two defensive touchdowns. 5. Buffalo BillsBuffalo enters free agency with more than $82 million in available cap space. Lorenzo Alexander retired, and both Shaq Lawson and Mo Alexander are free agents. Sean McDermott’s defense did manage 44 sacks last season, but Lawson and another pending free agent, tackle Jordan Phillips, combined for 16 of them.Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy were good last season, but Clowney was much better all-around than both. The Bills can afford the luxury of starting Clowney and creating a stronger pressure rotation, especially knowing Ed Oliver is a rising pass-rusher inside.4. New York GiantsThe Giants are surfacing as a hot Clowney suitor with more than $72 million in available cap space. New defensive coordinator Patrick Graham did not have a game-changing edge presence for his base 3-4 in Miami. With Markus Golden a pending free agent, there is a massive void in New York for such a player.A player like Clowney is needed for young front seven in which the best pieces are Dexter Lawrence and Ryan Connelly, both in their second seasons. Dave Gettleman sounds like he might be more aggressive than usual to build a complementary defense for what could be a highly productive offense led by Daniel Jones. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/cc/fd/jadeveon-clowney-030920-getty-ftr_19n0g29qa566c16071icjwse67.jpg?t=-1067636888&w=500&quality=80 Clowney in Indy would be able to remain at end in Matt Eberflus’ base 4-3, much like he did for the Seahawks. The Colts already are tough against the run, and Clowney would give them an even stouter front. Working off Houston, who had 11 sacks in a durable age-30 season in 2019, Clowney could wreak plenty of havoc with his 6-5, 255-pound frame.1. Tennessee TitansIf we are to believe the Titans are a top suitor for Tom Brady, then they would be in line to make some other splashy moves. Much has been made of Brady’s friendship with Mike Vrabel, but Clowney has a close connection to the Tennessee coach, too. When Vrabel coordinated the Texans’ defense in 2017, Clowney hit peak performance with a career-high 9.5 sacks. The Titans need a younger-yet-seasoned upgrade from Cameron Wake on the edge opposite Harold Landry.Tennessee has more than $50 million under the cap, leaving ample room for both Brady and Clowney. Landry and Clowney would be a devastating combination for Vrabel’s base 3-4 defense, which is on the verge of being a top-10 unit overall. 3. Seattle SeahawksClowney was a good, versatile fit in their front seven, and the Seahawks, at around $44 million under the cap, have the means to make it work. They are looking at Ziggy Ansah, Quinton Jefferson and Jarran Reed as key unrestricted free agents on the defensive line, and outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks carries the same status.The Seahawks won’t be positioned well defensively if end L.J. Collier, a rotational player with no sacks as a rookie, must lead the returning pass-rush charge. Consider Seattle vs. the field to be an even race for Clowney going into free agency.2. Indianapolis ColtsThe Colts are one of two non-Texans AFC South destinations that make sense for Clowney. They have a middle-of-the-road pass rush led by Justin Houston and Jabaal Sheard, who also is a pending free agent at age 31. The Colts have more than $86 million in available cap space, second most in the league. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/9b/56/jadeveon-clowney-030920-getty-ftr_16azf29uuvnzn1uy2upx5rwmcf.jpg?t=-1067762528&w=500&quality=80 NFL FREE AGENTS:Ranking the top available players in 2020In terms of average annual salary at the position, the leaders are the Bears’ Khalil Mack ($23.5 million), the Cowboys’ Demarcus Lawrence ($21 million) and the Chiefs’ Frank Clark ($20.8 million), a former Seahawk whom Clowney helped replace.Those numbers represent the yearly parameters for what Clowney is reportedly (and justly) seeking based on the market, a significant raise from the near $16 million guaranteed he made after being franchise-tagged and traded by the Texans last year.A five-year deal makes sense, as it would sign Clowney through his age-32 season. The overall guarantee would need to be in the range of three times of what he would get annually.Based on all that and the teams that both need him and can afford him, here are Clowney’s best signing fits.last_img

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