We are now two months into NFL free agency, and the player thought to be the top defensive talent on the board remains unsigned.
Jadeveon Clowney seemed on track to score a megadeal after seasons spent between the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans. Instead, the former top overall draft pick has had to lower his asking price of at least $20 million per year and still hasn’t found a deal to his liking.
Clowney has said he is in no rush to sign, but you have to wonder if that is by choice in a system where teams typically rush to lock up top free agents. Especially when Clowney no longer carries draft pick compensation after the passing of the April 27 deadline.
The wait could also reportedly be a product of Clowney not wanting to join the Cleveland Browns.
Browns want Jadeveon Clowney, but the feeling isn’t mutual so far
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter in a radio interview, the Browns have been more aggressive than any other team in their attempts to sign Clowney. The team reportedly still has the top offer on the table for the Pro Bowler.
For whatever reason, Clowney hasn’t bit yet.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) May 27, 2020
Other teams reported to be interested in Clowney have been the Seahawks and Tennessee Titans. Both teams still have upward of $15 million in 2020 salary-cap space via OverTheCap, but they would still likely need to move some money around in order to land Clowney.
Meanwhile, the Browns still have over $37 million in cap space — most in the NFL — and seem to still be looking for ways to make an offseason splash.
Browns have been aggressive this offseason — just like last year
The Browns have signed two of the biggest free agent acquisitions in the offseason with a three-year, $42 million deal for right tackle Jack Conklin and a four-year, $42 million deal for tight end Austin Hooper.
The team also did well for itself in the 2020 NFL draft, garnering a B+ grade from Yahoo Sports draft expert Eric Edholm. Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. is the jewel of the class as the draft’s 10th overall pick, and could be Baker Mayfield’s left tackle for years to come.
Of course, we have all seen the Browns having a promising offseason before. Just last year in fact, when the team added the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon to a promising young roster before sputtering to a 6-10 record.
It’s unclear if Clowney could help the team avoid a similar disappointment this season. His pass rush numbers have never matched his promise (nor his current contract demands), but he is considered one of the top run defenders in the league, and could create a formidable rotation on the edge with Myles Garrett and Vernon.
A player like that could be useful when you’re playing the team that just set the NFL record in rushing yards twice a year.
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