GREEN BAY, Wisc. – The end of the season immediately brings with it a set of questions about "what's next."
For the Seahawks, question No. 1 is pretty obvious.
What's next for Jadeveon Clowney?
Clowney is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March and will undoubtedly have plenty of suitors willing to pay top dollar for his services. He explained his top priority will be to join a contender that will have the chance to compete for a championship immediately.
"I just want to win," Clowney said.
I want to get that Super Bowl, by any means. That's what I'm looking for. Who's going to get me there? I'm not looking to get on no sorry team for no money. That ain't gonna fly. I'm not going to fight through all that just to lose 16 games and go home with my check. I hate that. That ain't what I'm doing. If I can't do that – I'm not going to no team that can't win.
It's important to emphasize that Clowney wasn't taking a shot at Seattle. He's expressed his enjoyment of Seattle and the Seahawks organization at every opportunity this season. He continued to share that his memories of 2019 are nothing but positive.
"It's been a great experience. I met a great group of guys, and I appreciate everyone in this locker room. I didn't know how it was going to go when I got to Seattle. People look at you different when you're the No. 1 pick."
Clowney was referring to the stigma that comes along with being a No. 1 overall pick. He never got that in Seattle, fitting in from Day 1.
The Seahawks originally acquired Clowney via trade from the Houston Texans on Aug. 31, the day of final roster cuts following the preseason. He had three sacks in the regular season and 1.5 sacks in two postseason games, including a half-sack in Seattle's 28-23 loss to the Packers.
First thing's first, though, as Clowney will have his core injury operated on in the next couple of days. He'd been dealing with the injury since Week 10 against the 49ers. He showed his Seahawks teammates – and the rest of the league for that matter – that he's willing to fight through considerable pain.
Apparently some of Clowney's teammates thanked him on a weekly basis for not quitting on them. It would have been very easy for him to go on IR, get surgery and rest up for free agency. Instead, he gave everything he could to Seattle's playoff run.
"I said, ‘Y'all don't have anything to worry about. If I can go, I'm gonna go.,'" Clowney recalled the conversations with his teammates.
Clowney will be an interesting case study where the film will look far more impressive than his humble sack numbers. Even with just three sacks, teams will be willing to pay him as an elite edge defender who can play the run just as well as he rushes the passer.
Whether or not Seattle gets involved in the bidding will be interesting. It's not typically the Seahawks style to pony up big free agent dollars. However, if they let Clowney walk, who knows what reasonable expectations for Seattle's pass rush are in 2020.