About a week into NFL Free Agency, and still no word on the future of Jadeveon Clowney. Frankly, I don’t know what will happen. But what I do know is: The Seahawks desperately need his help.
It’s very rare that the Seahawks rank toward the bottom of the NFL in any category. But last year, the Hawks had the second-fewest sacks in the league with 28. It was the lowest total in the Pete Carroll Era. In fact, the Seahawks went five games without a single sack, and eight games – half of their games in the regular season – with just one sack or less.
Now, I understand that sack numbers aren’t only reliant on the guys up front. And the Seahawks ranked 26th in the league in total defense last year. More help is needed throughout.
But as we saw, a healthy Clowney is a total disruption to an opposing offense. A healthy Clowney, working alongside a re-signed Jarran Reed and also Poona Ford, is absolutely necessary for a Seahawks defensive line that is currently lacking proven depth and impact players.
Bringing Bruce Irvin back was nice. His eight and a half sacks last year is 4 ½ more than the Seahawks individual leader all last season. And we can be hopeful that L.J. Collier and Rasheem Green continue to develop.
But Clowney is the proven entity here.
I remember Duane Brown saying at the start of last season that putting Clowney in this defensive system should result in double-digit sacks. “When he’s totally focused and committed to rushing the passer, I think 10 sacks is easy,” said Brown, who also played with Clowney in Houston. Based on what we saw when Clowney was at or close to full strength, I don’t doubt it at all moving forward.
Yes, Clowney had off-season surgery. With players unable to undergo physicals as a result of COVID-19, other teams are probably wary of signing him to a massive deal. It’s likely a reason why Clowney reportedly isn’t happy with the offers so far.
Which means this continues to be a huge opportunity for Seattle, whose original offer probably wasn’t close to what Clowney wanted. I trust John Schneider’s process, but I still think that now is the time to lock him in. Find a compromise between the two numbers and get him back in a Seahawks uniform for at least the next few years. Don’t let Clowney wait this market out, because in the meantime, most or all of the Seahawks backup plans are signing with other teams.
I understand that we don’t want to sacrifice the future. But I also understand Clowney is just 27 years old and salary cap numbers should increase significantly over the next few years.
He likes it in Seattle, and Seattle likes him too.
Get the deal done. It’s not one the Seahawks will regret.