The Seattle Seahawks will land Clowney pending all the players involved passing physicals according to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, ending a standoff with the Texans over the tag. The first overall pick of the 2014 draft moves on, leaving a big hole in the Houston defense.
Clowney’s career started slowly, with injuries holding him back, but he has since become one of the best edge defenders in the game. The Texans just couldn’t lock him up to a long-term deal, and a trade became the best option.
Jadeveon Clowney became one of NFL’s best defenders
Clowney, who doesn’t turn 27 years old until February, played in just four games as a rookie due to knee injuries. In his second season, Clowney played 14 games but had just 4.5 sacks. Given that the Texans passed on Khalil Mack to take him first overall, it looked like a mistake.
Clowney has never been a dominant pass rusher, but he developed into a fantastic all-around edge defender. He is great against the run and has 18.5 sacks over the past two seasons. There were reports that Clowney could get a $100 million deal, but he didn’t get it from the Texans.
Houston put the franchise tag on Clowney, and then the two sides were unable to reach a long-term extension before the July 15 deadline. The NFLPA was expected to file a grievance on Clowney’s behalf, because Clowney wanted the defensive end tag (about $17.1 million) instead of the outside linebacker tag (about $15.4 million).
Clowney never signed the tag and never came to camp, putting the Texans in a bind, especially considering running back Le’Veon Bell held out all last season due to a franchise tag dispute before hitting free agency.
Seahawks get elite defender
Seattle has lost a lot of talent over the past few years, and decided to trade pass rusher Frank Clark to Kansas City when his price tag got to be too high. Seattle’s pass rush took another hit when defensive tackle Jarran Reed was suspended for six games.
Assuming the trade gets finalized, Clowney will make a huge impact on the Seahawks’ front seven. He’s only guaranteed to be there one year, but presumably the Seahawks believe Clowney would be open to signing a long-term deal after the season.
Much like the Mack trade before last season, one of the game’s best defenders was on the move on cutdown weekend.
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