Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Monday that Seattle remained in contact with the three-time Pro Bowl defensive end this offseason and were in on conversations with him up until the final moments when Clowney ultimately chose to sign with Tennessee.
What it came down to? As expected, Clowney wanted a lot more than Seattle could offer.
“I talked to him throughout the process and stayed with him,” Carroll said. “We had really good, amicable conversations about things and he was just waiting the whole time. He had his sights set really high to start with and it just put him in a situation where he had to wait it out. And he didn’t get near the amount that he wanted as it turned out. Our offers and stuff early on didn’t look attractive to him because he had his mindset elsewhere. I don’t know. It was just a pretty normal process, but he just wasn’t ready to make a call early on.”
Seattle’s rumored offer for Clowney was $12 million for a one-year deal. The star pass rusher accepted a one-year deal worth $15 million in Tennessee, substantially below Clowney’s initial asking price thought to be somewhere in the $20-plus million price range.
“He’s a good player and it was a long, long offseason in terms of trying to figure out how that was gonna work out,” Carroll said. “And we were involved throughout. But yet, we moved on, you know, for the most part well early in the offseason so that we can do the rest of the team and fortunately we were able to do that and got some good players. But he’s a terrific player and should be a good addition for [the Titans].”
Although reports before Clowney’s signing suggested the Saints and Titans were the final two, multiple teams were actively trying to pull off a sign-and-trade, per reports. The Saints tried to orchestrate a deal with Cleveland that would have landed the former All-Pro in New Orleans. The Jaguars were also working with the Ravens to get Clowney to Baltimore, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
The Seahawks were also in the mix, according to Carroll.
“We were in it the whole time. We were with him the whole time in the discussion. . . . [G.M.] John [Schneider] was in on all of it.”
Nonetheless, Carroll is content with the offseason moves Seattle has made to bolster its defensive line. The Seahawks brought back veterans Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa, who combined for 15.5 sacks in 2019. Seattle drafted Alton Robinson, who has impressed in training camp, and Darrell Taylor, who was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list list to kick off the season.
The Seahawks are also counting on Jarran Reed to return to the player he was two years ago when he totaled 10.5 sacks in 2018.
“I sure like our speed on the outside,” Carroll said. “All of our guys have had numbers. They’ve got numbers to bring with them. To bring 16 sacks to us just in Benson and in Bruce, that’s a real positive. Our guys last year didn’t add up anywhere near that. So that’s a positive, and hopefully we can enhance their play. We really would like to see J-Reed come back to his number somewhere (near) what he did a couple years ago. He had kind of a stilted beginning last season. Now that he’s back and he’s in great shape and ready to go, you know, if he can get his numbers anywhere near where he was to add to it, we can be in good shape.”
Carroll feels this defense has a lot of upside, but are they better than the next-to-last ranked defense that had just 28 sacks one season ago? We will soon find out.
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