The New York Jets have a hole at edge rusher and there’s only one top-end guy left on the market. Don’t count them out on Jadeveon Clowney.
The New York Jets have been connected to Jadeveon Clowney for a year now. When he was put on the trading block in 2019, the team was heavily linked to the star edge rusher. A deal never materialized and Clowney was sent to the Seattle Seahawks.
So they passed on him even at a bargain price. Now with a new general manager, things are heating up again. Clowney has now been connected to the Jets for a few weeks.
It began when Connor Hughes of The Athletic linked him to Gang Green once again. He claimed that the team was doing their due diligence, but didn’t think a deal would come together. Hughes doesn’t believe Clowney fits the mold of a “Joe Douglas player”. Meaning his reputation for being lazy on the field doesn’t fit with GM Joe Douglas‘ style of player.
Then the news was quiet of Clowney and the Jets again for a while, but that changed on Monday. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the Jets had been in “definite communication” with Clowney.
It makes sense. The Jets are in dire need of help on the edge. Jordan Jenkins is a free agent and they don’t have another starting edge rusher on their roster. So, Clowney would fill a massive hole.
He wouldn’t fix the Jets pass rush, but he would be the best edge rusher the team has had since John Abraham. Clowney is the best run defender at his position in the NFL. That’s where he makes his money.
Putting him on a team that already has arguably the best run defense in the NFL would make the roster one-dimensional. Teams simply wouldn’t be able to run the ball against the Jets.
Clowney isn’t a poor pass rusher, despite what his sack totals would have you believe. He has good pressure numbers and does get to the quarterback at a decent rate. He just hasn’t been able to turn pressures into sacks.
That could change with the Jets. If he plays on a team that has an elite run defense, he might be able to focus on his pass-rushing. That should, in theory, make him a better pass rusher and lead to more sacks.
It could be the perfect storm to help Clowney reach his highest potential. Even if he doesn’t, he’s still an elite edge rusher who can take over games when he’s at his best.
A deal with Clowney isn’t likely due to the cost. Douglas has avoided paying top of the market money for high-end players this offseason. He’s focused on getting second-tier players for bargain prices. It doesn’t make sense that Douglas would deviate from that to sign Clowney.
However, the Jets shouldn’t be counted out. Clowney’s market is dwindling and if the price drops to a reasonable range, the Jets could jump on him. After all, Joe Douglas loves a good deal.