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Commentary: Clowney trade is crowning achievement in masterful offseason by Seahawks GM

This week, there were a couple stories involving Seahawks general manager John Schneider:

First, that John Schneider finally met John Schneider the actor from The Dukes of Hazzard. How that didn’t move the needle more, I’ll never know.

And second, only the biggest, most lopsided and incredible trade I can ever remember: The Seahawks acquisition of Jadeveon Clowney.

To recap, Clowney, one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the league who has made the Pro Bowl three straight years, is coming to Seattle on the most favorable terms. Did the Seahawks have to give up a first round pick? No. A second round pick? No. A Pro Bowl caliber player? No. An offensive lineman? No. A running back? No.

In return for Clowney, the Seahawks gave Houston a third-round pick, Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin. Mingo was arguably on the chopping block anyway, and the Hawks still have a third-round pick next year because they had two of them before the trade.

To make the trade even sweeter, Houston is reportedly paying $7 million of Clowney’s $15.9 million salary this season. If you add that to the money the Seahawks save from Mingo and Martin, the Hawks are only paying about $4 million dollars more than they were before this deal.

And because players on a franchise tag are not allowed to negotiate a long-term contract until after the season is over, the Hawks are getting a motivated player in what is essentially a contract year. If it doesn’t work out this season and Clowney goes elsewhere, they’ll likely get a third-round compensatory pick in the 2021 Draft in return for his departure.

To be clear, this was a total steal. This was the trade you try to make in your Fantasy Football league that no one EVER accepts! This was a trade that you couldn’t even pull off in the new Madden 20 video game, according to this sports gaming analyst, who tried making the same exact trade, and was rejected by the Texans organization.

This was also the crowning piece of one of the most masterful off-seasons I’ve ever witnessed by a general manager in Seattle.

The Seahawks had just four draft picks in March and somehow turned them into 11, including three picks in the first two rounds. Nine of those picks made the final roster with the other two still full of potential (Haynes and Christmas are on the PUP list). They re-signed Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner to longterm extensions and brought back K.J. Wright. They signed Ziggy Ansah in free agency and now acquire Clowney.

What significant assets did they sacrifice in return? Frank Clark and a third-round pick. Oh, and they still have significant draft stock and salary cap space next season as well.

Listen, I don’t know how the year will play out. But a week before the start of the regular season, Schneider’s moves have once again made the Seahawks a legitimate contender. They’ve made them a force without sacrificing their future. And his patience and steady hand throughout this process has now helped them strike gold with Clowney.

Clowney to Seattle was an eye-opener. But the terms of the deal are the friendliest I’ve ever seen.

This John Schneider might not be one of the Dukes of Hazzard, but in the long run, he’ll certainly be the Seahawks GM who mattered.

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