Seattle coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Monday that the team has prioritized re-signing Clowney, and that Carroll believes Clowney wants to stay.
Via Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune, Carroll said that Clowney told G.M. John Schneider how much Clowney loved being with the team this season. With his one-year contract expiring in March, and given that his contract that was revised as part of his trade from Houston to Seattle includes a commitment that the franchise tag won’t be applied, the Seahawks’ options are simple: (1) sign Clowney to a new contract; (2) apply the transition tag to Clowney, which would give Seattle a right to match any offer sheet he signs elsewhere; or (3) allow Clowney to become a free agent.
Clowney had only three sacks this season in 13 appearances (11 starts). He missed three games due to a sports hernia, which likely will require surgery in the offseason. But, when healthy, Clowney has the ability to disrupt an offense (the unofficial Chris Simms stat is dubbed “eff up the play”). It became obvious during a Monday night performance against the 49ers, and at times on Sunday he looked great.
The first overall pick in the 2014 draft, Clowney finally gets a chance to get paid whatever the market will bear. Given the importance of the pass rush, someone may offer Clowney more than the Seahawks are able or willing to pay.