New York Giants: One alternative pass rusher to Jadeveon Clowney

New York Giants, Dante Fowler Jr.

The New York Giants are in the market for a new pass rusher this off-season, as Jadeveon Clowney and others remain available.

In 2019, the Giants’ best pass rusher was Markus Golden, who logged 10.0 sacks coming off two years of injury. General manager Dave Gettleman is looking to bring Markus back for a second season and beyond, but there is no guarantee in free agency. The Giants will be looking at all options to fill the void, as they realistically need two quality pass rushers to improve pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

The New York Giants could take a different route than Clowney:

One intriguing option is Los Angeles Rams defender, Dante Fowler Jr.

Fowler is one of the more affordable options in 2020, considering his production has limited his price tag and his overall ceiling is not as high as Jadeveon Clowney’s.

However, Fowler posted solid numbers last season, logging 11.5 sacks, 35 pressures, and 58 combine tackles. This was his best season by far and he took a major step forward from his four-sack performance in 2018. Inconsistency has been his biggest downfall and con since his inception into the NFL in 2016. Last year’s campaign was the first he posted double-digit sacks in his career, also breaking personal records in quarterback hits (16), tackles for loss (16), and passes defended (6).

The best part about Dante’s performance was that he featured in a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker, similar to the role he would play with the Giants if they elected to take a chance on him.

While his performance last season will undoubtedly earn him a pretty penny in free agency, I anticipate his price tag landing in the $15 million range, significantly less than Clowney’s projected per-year average at $22 million. With the majority of the star pass rushers on the market being franchise-tagged, the Giants will have to settle for a lesser option and hope for the best, and while Jadeveon represents the best of the crop, Fowler might fit their scheme better at a cheaper price.

New York Giants: Dante Fowler Jr. A Young Pass-Rushing Option In Free Agency

New York Giants, Dante Fowler Jr.

The New York Giants will be in the market for a pass-rusher this offseason. Luckily, the 2020 free agency class is filled with talented edge rushers for the Giants to pursue. New York is expected to make a run at all of the big names, such as Yannick Ngakoue and Jadeveon Clowney. But there are more affordable options out there.

Dante Fowler Jr. will be one of those more affordable options in the 2020 free agency class. The 25-year-old edge rusher out of the University of Florida has been with the Los Angeles Rams for the past season and a half but is set to hit the open market once again this offseason.

Dante Fowler Jr. Stats And Highlights

Dante Fowler Jr. was selected third overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent his first two and a half seasons in Jacksonville before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams. Fowler signed a one-year contract extension with the Rams in the 2019 offseason.

This offseason, however, a contract extension might not come to fruition. The Rams are pressed against the salary cap and might have to let Dante Fowler Jr. walk away.

Fowler Jr. was looked at as a bust during his time with the Jaguars. He never hit that elite level that they expected him to when they drafted him third overall. However, a change of scenery worked well for Dante. He had a career-year in 2019 that should see him rewarded handsomely in free agency.

In 2019, Dante Fowler recorded a career-high 11.5 sacks, 35 pressures, and 58 combined tackles. This was far and away the best season of his career and a big step forward from his 4-sack campaign in 2018. Fowler’s inconsistency throughout his career is a major red flag. But if 2019 is any indication, it appears Fowler is starting to get the hang of the professional game. Maybe in the right defensive system, Dante Fowler Jr. will be able to reach his full potential.

Dante Fowler Jr.’s Contract

Dante’s impressive performance in 2019 should see him earn a pretty expensive contract, however, he will be a cheaper option in comparison to Clowney and Ngakoue.

According to Over the Cap, Dante Fowler Jr. is projected to get a four-year deal worth about $15 million on average annually. This is $6 million less than what Jadeveon Clowney is projected to sign for and $4.5 less than Ngakoue’s projected contract.