Jadeveon Clowney should be one of the most talked-about 2020 free agents in the NFL. Clowney agreed to a one year sign and trade deal that kept him from having to sign a franchise tender with the Houston Texans. Clowney gambled on himself in the trade that sent him to the Seattle Seahawks. Did he win that bet? This 2020 NFL free agency cycle will tell the tale.
Jadeveon Clowney Free Agent Profile
Why is it that with the skill set that Clowney has is he not talked about more? Is it the fact that he’s had a myriad of injuries that have kept him from playing a complete season, with the exception of 2016. Or is it a perception problem? Since coming out of South Carolina as the number one overall draft pick in 2014, Clowney has flashed the potential to be one of the best sack artists to play the game. However, his motor has been questioned since that 2014 draft night.
Best Fits: Scheme 4-3 Defense
The rationale behind the Texans moving Clowney to Seattle could be traced to the defensive scheme and fit. Clowney’s best attribute is his ability to rush the passer. It’s what got him drafted number one overall. The Texans ran a 3-4 defense and asked Clowney to drop back in coverage. We see time after time that players not put in the right scheme become disgruntled and then perception takes over that they’re a locker room liability. We know not one player makes the defense, however, the right team and fit can get the most out of the player.
The Seahawks are still a team that needs the services of a player like Clowney. Their defense was in the bottom ten of quarterback pressures and sacks. Likewise, they were the eleventh-worst pass defense and sixth-worst run defense. It’s clearly safe to say that the Seahawks have a few more needs on defense. Russell Wilson will continue to maintain a perennial run toward the playoffs. However, a healthy Clowney would go along way to getting them back in the conversation of super bowl contender.
For a team whose identity was the ability to rush the quarterback, the Falcons sure regressed in 2019. Now it seems they are searching to re-make their defensive identity. Vic Beasley was just released, after contributing eight sacks this past season. They are waiting to find out exactly what they have in Takkarist McKinley. Although, McKinnley has shown flashes of his pass rush promise but took a step back in his third season. He only accounting for three and a half sacks in 2019. The Falcons team defense ranked eleventh overall but tied for second-worst in sacking the quarterback with a total of 28. With that being said, they were decent stopping the run, ranking fifteenth overall. Clowney would be an excellent addition to the defensive if the Falcons decide that McKinnley isn’t the answer.
The Bengals will get their franchise quarterback. Check. Shore up the offensive-line through the draft and free agency to protect Joe Burrow. Check. Now they get a pass rusher to strike fear into quarterback’s gears. Check. No longer is the football DFS community targeting the Bengals week after week. All of a sudden they become the toast of Ohio. Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham are a distant memory. If you’re a Bengals fan? You can only dream, right?
Look for the Raiders to quickly improve their team. Through the draft and free agency. With that being said, the Raiders couldn’t stop the pass nor could they sack the quarterback. They were seventh-worst in the league at getting to the quarterback and among the worst at pressuring the quarterback. This makes a lot of sense for a team with plenty of cap room and draft picks. How much fun would it be if the Raiders could land Tom Brady and Jadeveon Clowney? Certainly, it would set the NFL world on fire.
Pass Rush Premium
Clowney is only 27 years old and entering the prime of his career. And, the team that is able to manage his workload during the regular season could benefit greatly. Pass rushers of Clowney’s ilk always come at a premium. Additionally, his pass-rush skills can also aide the ability of the defense to defend the pass. The team that lands Clowney will put the league on notice for the 2020 NFL season.
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