The NY Jets would be wise to steer clear of Jadeveon Clowney in free agency and it appears as though the team is more than prepared to do just that.
The NY Jets opted for a different strategy in this year’s free agency as opposed to recent years. Instead of targeting some of the bigger names like Byron Jones and Jadeveon Clowney, the team instead insisted on cheaper, short-term contracts.
This strategy employed by new general manager Joe Douglas was in stark contrast to the previous regime which had no problem spending big bucks in free agency. It remains to be seen whether it will ultimately pay-off, but the change in ideology hasn’t gone unnoticed.
One by one, the top free agents were signed away by other teams while the Jets refused to pay above their preferred contract projections. But more than two weeks have passed since the start of free agency, and one of the premier players still remains available.
That player is the aforementioned Jadeveon Clowney who has surprisingly gone un-signed to this point. Much of that likely has to do with his expected market value versus his actual market value.
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Clowney went into free agency expecting upwards to $20 million per season. It’s safe to say that no team was willing to touch that figure. And the Jets likely won’t be coming close to it.
At the end of the day, that’s probably for the best.
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Clowney is a very solid run-defender, but his ability to rush the passer has gotten overrated over the years. The former No. 1 overall pick has never recorded s double-digit sack season and is fresh off a three-sack campaign in 13 games with Seattle in 2019.
That’s not someone worthy of a deal worth $17+ million per season. Except, that’s exactly what he might end up earning.
At the moment, the two favorites to sign him appear to be the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans. The smart bet seems to be that he’ll return to Seattle, but it likely won’t come cheap.
Clowney is far and away the top player remaining on the market and at just 27-years-old, he’s still an attractive free agent. Just not one that makes much sense for the Jets.
Fortunately, it seems as though Joe Douglas agrees as ESPN’s Rich Cimini even went as far as to state that there’s “little chance that he ends up with the Jets.” For what it’s worth, Cimini said the same about Jacksonville Jaguars star Yannick Ngakoue.
It’s more likely the Jets take another mid-round flyer in the 2020 NFL Draft and pray that Gregg Williams can work his magic once again next season. Jordan Jenkins will be back and the team could always rotate a few players at the other position again.
The real bulk of the pass rush will come from other players such as Jamal Adams or the team’s inside linebackers. The edge rush won’t be fixed this offseason — the Jets are going to have to live with that.
But that scenario is significantly better than paying Clowney the contract he desires.