New York Giants: Arguments for an against signing Jadeveon Clowney

New York Jets, Jadeveon Clowney
Dec 25, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants learned that offensive lineman Nate Solder would pause his NFL career for one season on Wednesday morning. Solder cited his family issues and the battle with cancer his son has gone through the past few years as a primary factor. With his justifiable decision and putting his family first, the Giants will move forward with the talent they already have on the roster.

Drafting both Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart should provide them with enough tackle depth for 2020.

However, Solder opting out of his contract opens up $19.5 million in cap space. The Giants could elect to spend it or hypothetically roll it over to the 2021 season. One player that has been connected to New York for quite some time is Jadeveon Clowney, formally of the Seattle Seahawks.

Should the New York Giants sign Jadeveon Clowney on a one-year deal?

Argument for:

Signing Clowney would be expensive for the Giants, as he will command at least $14 million per season. The expectation is he wants to join a contending team on a long-term deal, but in the NFL, nothing is guaranteed. He could cash in for one season, and gain exponential reps, utilizing them to catapult him forward. When free agency originally started, he was asking for money in the $20-22 million range, but he has since tempered his expectations.

He would fit perfectly in the Giants’ 3-4 base game. With Patrick Graham taking over, gaining a premium level pass rusher would only help his transition to the Giants. Scheming a pass rush is the most probable course of action, without proven commodities at the outside linebacker position.

The issue with Clowney is that he’s never reached double-digit sacks in his career. He puts consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks and locks down running backs on his edge, but simply just doesn’t tally up the numbers in the sack category. When you compare that to a player like Markus Golden, who expected to sign a more lucrative deal after posting 10.0 sacks in 2019, we can come to the conclusion that it is an overrated start to a degree.

Over his past four seasons, he has earned at least 13 quarterback hits, with a high of 21. His low of 13 came in 2019 when he played in just 13 games over 57% of defensive stats. That is 300 less than he experienced in Houston in 2018. He was also playing defensive end compared to outside linebacker.

Ultimately, Clowney has the ability to shut down an entire side of the defensive line, and he would only benefit the Giants’ defense.