The New York Jets are reportedly taking a look at Seattle Seahawks edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney prior to the free agency period.
Rushing the passer wasn’t exactly a strength for the New York Jets in 2019, and the team is apparently looking to bolster that department this offseason.
According to Connor Hughes of The Athletic, the Jets are taking a look at Seattle Seahawks edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney. The veteran is slated to become a free agent when the new league year commences (Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET).
Hughes writes, “I’ve heard several rumblings from sources on the Jets poking around Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. It makes sense. He’s arguably the top defensive end on the market. My personal opinion: The Jets won’t give Clowney the deal he wants.”
Clowney played on a one-year deal worth $15 million last season after the Houston Texans shipped him to Seattle for multiple players and a 2020 third-round draft pick.
Despite having made three Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team, Clowney has yet to hit the double-digit sack mark in any season. This past year, he recorded 31 combined tackles with seven tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, and a career-low three sacks (minimum 13 games played).
The pros and cons
The Jets desperately need pass rushers, that’s a given. As a team, they finished 23rd in the league last year with 35 total sacks. Their leader in that category — linebacker Jordan Jenkins — recorded just eight.
Clowney would bring a fierce mindset and veteran presence to East Rutherford. Him, Jamal Adams, and a healthy C.J. Mosley could do damage and help create a foundation for this defense moving forward.
But the price tag is what may cause some reluctancy on the Jets’ part. Per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, Clowney may be seeking $22-23 million per year in a new contract, a number that doesn’t line up well with his production total. A deal of that financial magnitude would put him near the top of the list of highest-paid edge rushers in the league (Khalil Mack is No. 1 with an average annual value of $23.5 million per year).
That’s a whole lot of cash for someone who’s single-season career-high in sacks is just 9.5 (achieved in 2017).
If I’m the Jets, I steer clear from signing Clowney to that type of deal, especially considering they possess nearly $56 million in cap space this offseason, per Spotrac.