Could the New York Jets splurge on Jadeveon Clowney with extra cap space?

New York Jets, Jadeveon Clowney

Should the New York Jets dip their hand in the Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes?

One of the weaker units on the New York Jets roster is their pass rush, and with Trumaine Johnson off the books, they have a bit more cap space to spend in free agency if they choose to do so. The $11 million they are saving could be utilized toward a player like Jadeveon Clowney, who would upgrade their pass rush unit significantly and offer them security on the edge.

The Jets haven’t expressed must interest in Clowney, but he has bounced around in negotiations, and his price tag is seemingly dwindling with every passing day. The Cleveland Browns recently proposed an offer, which he declined. With $25.2 million in available cap space, the Jets have plenty of mobility if they choose to spend some of it.

With the way the Jets are setting up their team for the 2020 season, it seems they are looking to win now, as Adam Gase will be going into his second year as head coach, and Sam Darnold is preparing to suit up for his tired NFL season. Their defense is solid but requires a bit more talent at the pass rush position and the secondary.

Drafting left tackle Mekhi Becton, Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, and cornerback out of Virginia, Bryce Hall, indicates that they have identified their weakest links and allocated valuable resources toward them. While I do believe the Jets are still somewhere in a rebuilding phase, they have the talent and experience to compete moving forward. With that being said, adding a player like Clowney would be a major boost to the defense and hopefully keep the offense on the field more.

The reality behind Clowney is simple — his mediocre production and injury history is worrisome, but when on the field and playing at a high-level, he’s one of the best edge setters in the league. The major issue is his sack production, having only posted three 13 games last season.

His ability to adapt to a defensive end or outside linebacker role is unique, and he has shown ample production in the past. I believe he would be a major addition for the Jets, but with multiple units still lacking significant talent, it might be best to save their money for the 2021 off-season, rather than prematurely allocating a multi-year deal for a player that could underperform.

The New York Giants should remain far away from Jadeveon Clowney

New York Giants, Jadeveon Clowney

Why the New York Giants must stay far away from Jadeveon Clowney:

One of the more problematic units for the New York Giants heading into the 2020 season is their pass rush. Prior to placing a free agent tender on Markus Golden, which still doesn’t guarantee he will remain with the team for their future campaign, the Giants were heavily looking into Jadeveon Clowney, formally of the Seattle Seahawks.

Interestingly enough, Clowney remains available on the free-agent market, but most teams are not willing to part with the money he is asking for. General manager Dave Gettleman is focused on lower priced options, like Kyler Fackrell, who had a stellar 2018 campaign but fell into a secondary role in 2019.

Only a few months ago Clowney mentioned he would be open to joining New York, but he was more interested in playoff contending teams. He was reportedly seeking a deal upwards of $20 million per season, and no team has been willing to bite at that price point.

Ultimately, if Golden fails to sign elsewhere, he will earn 110% of his 2019 salary, which comes out to about $5 million. That is a steal for a player who recorded double digit sacks last season and has experience with some of the younger players currently on the roster. While Golden doesn’t match up with Clowney in terms of overall influence, he will serve a greater purpose in lowering their cap hit and giving them the freedom to look elsewhere in 2021.

Clowney most recently rejected an offer from the Cleveland Browns, as he believes his worth is far more significant. Even the Philadelphia Eagles have taken a shot at landing him, but it seems he is keen on waiting it out until he gets a bigger deal. Injuries are frequent in the NFL and eventually, a team will have to cough up the dough. Hopefully, it is not the Giants who have to do so.

It is also important to mention that the Giants will be looking to bolster their team with available cap next season, and signing Clowney on a multi-year deal worth potentially over $15 million per season, which would significantly hinder their ability to sign free agents. The 2020 season is meant to continue their rebuild, as the team is not in a prime position to contend for a playoff berth. With that being said, looking to the draft or free agency next year might be more practical.

Should the New York Jets dive into the Jadeveon Clowney pool?

New York Giants, Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney is still available and the New York Jets could be in the market for a pass rusher:

The Jets suffered significant injuries in 2019, which limited their production and efficiency. With a majority of their talent returning in full force next season, Gang Green is in a position to have a successful 2020 campaign, depending heavily on their offense.

However, adding more talent to the defensive line could be the answer to earning a playoff berth. Returning players like Avery Williamson, CJ Mosely, and Blake Cashman should give the defense a boost, but Clowney brings multiple levels of production that are difficult to replicate.

In 2019, Clowney played in just 13 games, earning three sacks, seven tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, and one interception. His sack numbers don’t open any eyes, but he consistently solidifies one side of the defensive line and plays well against the run. At 26-years-old, the three-time Pro Bowler is still in his prime and can contribute heavily toward a defense that is already strong.

Reports initially indicated that Jadeveon was looking for a minimum of $20 million per season, but that number has steadily declined as teams lost interest in his abilities. With the market failing to develop as Clowney anticipated, the Jets could be in a position of leverage and land him on a deal worth far less than $20 million per season, locking up a position that is one injury away from being problematic.

The biggest issue is cap space, as the Jets currently have a little over $18 million available, according to overthecap.com.

Signing Clowney would lower that number significantly unless they can backload the contract, which is never a desirable method when signing players. Considering teams prefer to go into the season with cash to spare, and the rookies haven’t been signed just yet, that number will go down.

Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline still believes that the Jets could be interested in the former Seattle Seahawk.

He stated the Jets have been “fishing around” Clowney and that they “have a legitimate shot” at signing him if they “put forth a good offer.”

I don’t believe that Clowney is worth investing in unless the deal is in the $10-14 million range, given his minimal sack numbers. The Jets have enough talent on defense to handle the load, and with Jamal Adams demanding a new deal, figuring out that issue should be at the top of GM Joe Douglas’ mind.

One Thing That Could Rule Out Jadeveon Clowney For New York Giants

New York Jets, Jadeveon Clowney

The New York Giants have been mentioned by analysts as a landing spot for Jadeveon Clowney, but so far, there’s many reasons why the deal doesn’t work as well as some might think. The primary reason is cost – Clowney is asking for more than any team right now is willing to pay, and the Giants are one of the ones that have passed on signing Clowney for that reason. However, there’s also other reasons at play making teams reluctant to make a move for Clowney.

One of those reasons is Clowney’s health, which hasn’t been perfect throughout his career to this point, and has been one of the factors holding his career back. According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, the Giants are one of the teams that have considered Clowney but are reluctant because of his injury history. This has also supposedly impacted Clowney’s chances with the Jets.

Many teams — the Giants included, per sources — are very wary of making a big-money commitment to a player with that kind of injury history. Presumably that has factored into the Jets’ thinking as well.

The Giants would indeed have to commit big money to Clowney if they wanted to bring him in to replace top pass rusher Markus Golden, who the team is unlikely to come to an agreement with if recent reports are accurate. That commitment would come to the tune of at least 17 million, which would make Clowney one of the highest paid players on the team.

To make the situation worse for a potential deal, any agreement is likely to be a short term one that would see the Giants effectively rent Clowney for a short time – rather than signing a long term deal, Clowney is likely to seek a one year contract and look for a bigger deal after the salary cap increases.

All of these red flags combined with the fact that the Giants don’t need rental players at this stage in their rebuilding process means that whatever chance there was of Clowney becoming a Giant is likely gone by now – and it may be for the better.

The Giants do need help in their pass rush, and it’s unclear if Kyler Fackrell is the answer. However, one thing that the team doesn’t need is an under-producing and overpaid player who may end up leaving the next season rather than staying around for the rebuilding process. All of those things, unfortunately, are things that describe Clowney.

Are The New York Jets Leverage for Jadeveon Clowney?

New York Jets, Jadeveon Clowney

According to The Seattle Times the New York Jets are among the teams to have put in an offer for Edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney. Jadeveon Clowney reportedly also has offers from the Seahawks and Titans. Dianna Russini reported a few weeks ago that Clowney wanted $20 million a year. Judging by the market, Clowney has vastly overshot where his contract will be at. This could lead him to take a cheaper prove it deal. Then, a few days ago, Jeremy Fowler reported the Seahawks are in the lead and the Jets could make the move.

Are the Jets Leverage?

The Jets have often been used as a leveraged team in negotiations in the past. This is likely the same situation. However, the way Joe Douglas has approached free agency has changed that. The New York Jets have struck cheap, short term prove-it deals and are showing they won’t budge for a player. The Seahawks and other interested teams likely know that and are aware of this. The Jets have proven throughout free agency they will take chances on guys who fit their team and their culture, not just talented players.

Clowney is a force and I don’t even think he’s tapped into his full potential yet. He and his agent had an opportunity to get PAID by the Dolphins and he held out.  So now, his market has thinned and he overshot the money he was worth. Clowney has three suitors, the Seahawks, Titans, and Jets. The Jets have reportedly done their, “due diligence” according to Joe Douglas, but they don’t seem to be true suitors. The Jets seem to be more of a ploy by the Clowney camp to drive up his potential salary. If the number does drop to a low number, then the Jets could jump on Clowney, but right now they’re looking more like a leverage tactic.

New York Giants could still land Jadeveon Clowney after market tumble

New York Giants, Jadeveon Clowney, Markus Golden

The New York Giants remain a pass-rusher needy team after signing Kyler Fackrell and allowing Markus Golden to hit the open market. However, it’s still possible they retain the veteran linebacker. Golden has not seemed to hit the free agency market with enthusiasm most imagined, and it possibly suggests that the Giants are looking to retain him on a multi-year deal.

Despite his lack of attention, Golden has competition by the name of Jadeveon Clowney. The former Seahawks defender hit free agency with an expected price-tag of $22 million, but the market has not developed in his favor. Clowney is receiving options in the $12-14 million range, far less than what was expected.

If Clowney can’t command more than $15 million, there’s little to suggest Golden should even approach that number over multiple-years. The situation unfolding is interesting, as Clowney is by far the best pass-rusher on the market, considering his ability to stop the run and lock down a side of the defensive edge.

Is it possible the New York Giants land Jadeveon Clowney after market tumble?

The market not responding to Clowney’s demands leaves the door open for the Giants, but Clowney’s representation will not accept a lesser deal just four days into free agency. A team will eventually come calling with a higher number. I anticipate he will land in the $18 million per season range, a bit out of the Giants’ price-range.

Golden ultimately represents the better option based on a variety of factors — price, leadership, familiarity with the Giants and their young players. The jury is still out on Golden, as some believe a majority of his sacks were a result of good coverage. However, Golden’s unstoppable motor and 27 QB hits suggest he was in the backfield quite a fair amount.

If the Giants can lock up the former Arizona Cardinal OLB on a multi-year deal averaging about $11-12 million per season, they shouldn’t hesitate. With Fackrell, Lorenzo Carter, and Oshane Ximines featuring at the OLB position, the Giants desperately need to add more talent, otherwise, they risk having a minimal pass-rush in 2020.

New York Giants: Has The Market Lowered The Cost For Jadeveon Clowney?

New York Jets, Jadeveon Clowney

At the start of free agency, many believed the New York Giants could help fix their pass rush by bringing in Seahawks outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, who came into the league with much hype but is looking for a different team after Seattle decided not to bring him back – specifically because of Clowney producing only a third of the sacks that he did in his last season in Houston.

However, Clowney’s reported price tag is likely what caused the Giants to look for other options. Clowney’s desired $20,000,000 per year would have made him the highest paid player on the team and a multi-year deal would disrupt the cap situation for the Giants for years to come. Because of that, the talk about Clowney to the Giants died down as free agency began. There’s more of an expectation of the Giants drafting an outside linebacker at this point.

Free agency has continued since the rumors died down, though, and Clowney still hasn’t been signed. Could this failure to find a new team show Clowney that he’s asking for too much, and convince him to lower his price tag for the Giants? According to the New York Post, Clowney’s opinions may indeed have changed.

Sources told The Post the Giants have expressed interest in Clowney, who started off asking for $20 million per year on a multi-year contract, but has found a surprisingly depressed market five days into free agency. He reportedly is open to a high-paying short-term deal with a chance to reenter free agency when the salary cap skyrockets next season.

The New York Post article suggests the dramatic move of rescinding the franchise tag from Leonard Williams and exchanging Williams for Clowney on a one year deal.

Would Clowney be a good prospect for the Giants to pursue? Potentially, but such a decision shouldn’t be made lightly – it’s unknown exactly how much Clowney wants right now and whether that’s enough money to warrant shutting down the idea of a deal and spending it on other players instead.

Additionally, the Giants aren’t going to be contenders this year barring a miracle, and therefore aren’t at the stage of team building when signing rental players for a high cost for one year is worth it. Even if Clowney won’t affect the cap beyond one year, it’s still money that the Giants could spend on other players who will build the team up more long term for the future.

All in all, the chances here likely depend on what kind of deal the Giants want, but regardless, the team should be careful – the Giants don’t need to be in ‘win now’ mode right now, after all.

Recapping the New York Jets’ first day of free agency

New York Jets, Adam Gase

The New York Jets have expressed a lot of interest but done very little, so here’s a breakdown of all that’s gone down in regards to the Jets today for both sides of the ball. As for tomorrow, Gang Green needs to wake up.

Offensive Line Rumors

The Jets were in on three key offensive linemen — Graham Glasgow, Joe Thuney, and Jack Conklin. All three are not going to be joining the Green and White. Despite prioritizing building through the trenches, the Jets added one offensive lineman today, and it was a guy they could’ve waited to scoop up in George Fant. The Jets need to add interior offensive linemen and are reportedly targeting C/G Steven Wisniewski & G Greg Van Roten. Van Roten is a longtime Jets fan and great pass protector, Wisniewski is a veteran with Douglas connections.

Wide Receiver Rumors

The Jets are devoted to helping Sam, but at what cost? The Jets missed out on adding either Stefon Diggs, Amari Cooper, and DeAndre Hopkins. All three would’ve been legit number one receivers. Now the Jets head towards day two of free agency looking to add playmakers. Phillip Dorsett is reportedly a big target. Dorsett is the only guy the Jets have publicly been linked to, but expect more to emerge tomorrow and keep an eye on Emmanuel Sanders.

Edge Rusher Rumors

The Jets have been very active in expressing interest here. The Jets have shown interest in Dante Fowler Jr as expected. However, the Jets have also shown SERIOUS interest in Jadeveon Clowney. If the money is there and feasible, the Jets should go after him. He would be a monster for Gregg Williams to have fun with on defense. Fowler and Clowney would immediately add more star power on defense. The Jets also seem inclined to let Jordan Jenkins walk per Connor Hughes of The Athletic.

As for lesser names, the Jets had shown interest in Kyle Van Noy before the Dolphins added him. Expect them to target Markus Golden as well.

Cornerback Rumors

The Jets were in on both James Bradberry and Byron Jones, but it seemed more than likely they would target lesser corners. Desmond Trufant was released by Atlanta today and has already been linked to the Jets. As has Chris Harris Jr. and Prince Amukamara. Brian Poole is a guy the Jets would like to bring back, but cost is debatable. Corner is a priority for the Jets, and their goal is to find value guys.

New York Giants have two options to fix the pass rush in free agency

New York Giants, Jadeveon Clowney, Markus Golden

The New York Giants need to prioritize the pass rush this offseason, whether it be through the NFL Draft or free agency. Luckily, there are plenty of options to consider in the open market. Now it depends on GM Dave Gettleman and his willingness to open his checkbook to inject more quality into the Giants’ defensive front.

However, two different scenarios could unfold for the Giants, as they represent the best situations available after a majority of the top pass rushers will be franchise tagged.

The two best options for the New York Giants:

1.) Jadeveon Clowney

Of course, Clowney is an ideal wish-list candidate, considering his ability to shut down an entire side on the defense. He can set the edge with solid run-stopping capabilities and also rush the passer an elite level, despite never having breached double-digit sacks in his career.

Last season, Clowney recorded just 3.0 sacks and 13 QB hits, but he was double-teamed on a majority of plays, essentially taking two offensive linemen out of the equation. The Giants will need to be confident that their No.2 pass-rusher is capable of winning 1v1 battles in the trenches. Also, factoring the Giants’ strong interior defense into the equation should justify a strong pass-rush presence, especially if they re-sign Leonard Williams to a multi-year deal.

2.) Kyle Van Noy and Markus Golden

This avenue is a bit more uncertain, considering Van Noy is an aging veteran, and Golden’s lone year of production after two years of consecutive injuries doesn’t scream consistency. However, this option is cheaper and lands two quality players who can serve multiple purposes.

Van Noy is a capable pass rusher but also stout against the run, and we know the type of production Golden can produce (10.0 sacks in 2019). I imagine they would likely garner around $25 million altogether while Clowney is projected to re-set the edge rusher market at $22 million per season. The Giants currently allocates just $29 million toward their entire defense.

New York Giants: The top 3 needs for Big Blue in free agency and NFL Draft

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants will enter free agency next Wednesday with plenty of needs across the board. The NFL draft will serve a significant purpose — retooling positions of cost. The Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman have about $80 million in open cap space to allocate towards other needs as well.

After cutting cornerback Janoris Jenkins in 2019, a significant hole at the number one corner position opened up. The Giants cannot count on second-year player DeAndre Baker to hold down the spot, as he struggled immensely in off-ball coverage last season. However, I am expecting a significant jump from him in year two, which hopefully should lead to him locking down a posing WR2s.

Another position of need is pass rusher, considering the lack of development from former Georgia standout, Lorenzo Carter. The Giants also drafted Oshane Ximines in the third round in 2019, and they are expecting him to be a quality rotational peace in his sophomore season. The Giants will also have to decide on Markus Golden, as to whether or not he is worth offering a multi-year deal to.

Aside from pass rusher and quarterback, the Giants have a major void at right tackle. After signing Mike Remmers to a one-year deal to supplement the position, the Giants will need to find a capable replacement, whether it be through the draft or free agency.

Ranking the top three needs for the New York Giants:

1. Right Tackle

Protecting Daniel Jones is the absolute priority for the Giants this off-season. While I believe they will address the spot with their fourth overall pick, they may allocate big money towards a free agent like Jack Conklin. I believe they are more enamored by Tristan Wirfs and others in the draft, considering that youth and lower cap hit.

2. Cornerback

Every team needs a quality pass rush, but what good is having a star edge defender if the secondary can’t hold up in coverage. Signing a player like Byron Jones this off-season would give the Giants the quality they need in the defensive backfield to provide time to their pass rush specialists.
Jones is reportedly seeking upwards of $17 million per season. Still, you can’t put a numerical value on a player that will essentially shut down an entire side of the field and coverage. If they can adjust the spot with efficiency, the Giants pass rush unit will be far better in 2020.

3. Pass Rusher

Last but not least, the Giants desperately need to add a pass rusher to the defense. With Jadeveon Clowney acting as the best option in free agency, the Giants are expected to allocate a ton of money in their bid for the former Houston Texan and Seattle Seahawk.

Reportedly, Clowney is seeking upwards of $22 million per season and a contending team, one of which the Giants do not hold. However, it is possible the Giants can turn their team around rather quickly if they managed to land several top free agents and bolster the offensive line.