We could be looking at one of the biggest free agency periods in recent memory if some of the notable names actually hit the open market. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Derrick Henry are just a few of the big names set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year opens on March 18th. One or more stands a good chance of signing a contract with their current team before then, but there is a chance one or more is taking calls when the tampering period opens on March 16th.
2019 in review
Despite a mid-season abdominal injury that caused him to miss four games, Jadeveon Clowney still put together an impressive season with a Seahawks team that managed to make it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Clowney finished the year with one interception for a touchdown, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries resulting in one touchdown, three sacks, 31 tackles, and 16 QB hits. From a fantasy perspective, he averaged 7.1 fantasy points per game for the IDP position.
Clowney is looking for a big contract and there will likely be several teams willing to spend a large amount on this talented DE.
The New York Giants are one possible landing spot, as they have a dearth of talent at the DE position and plenty of cap space to make room for Clowney’s likely large contract. Clowney is expected to earn up to $20 million/year with his new contract, and with over $60 million in available cap space, the Giants are one of the few teams that would not have a problem dealing that kind of money.
With the 32nd ranked rush defense in the NFL in 2019, the Bengals could use some help from a player like Clowney. With the team likely to also have over $60 million in cap space if they release Andy Dalton, the Bengals will be able to afford this much needed help on the defensive side of the ball. Unfortunately for the Bengals, Clowney has made it clear that he wants to win a Super Bowl, and he may be looking for a team that is closer to that goal than Cincinnati seems to be this year.
The Las Vegas Raiders are another team with a large amount of cap space (over $50 million) who could use a boost on defense. With some stand-out defensive talent still on rookie contracts, the Raiders could look to add Clowney for a veteran presence, who can take the team to the next level.
If Clowney wants a Super Bowl ring, the Baltimore Ravens may be his best shot next year. Their defense allowed the third fewest amount of points to opponents in 2019 and adding Clowney to the mix may launch them to the top of the ranks as a formidable force to be reckoned with. The cap space may be tighter for the Ravens, but Clowney may be able to give a little on his contract if he feels that he could win the ultimate prize at the end of the season.
Do the Seahawks want to keep him?
According to the most recent reports out of Seattle, the Seahawks absolutely want to keep Clowney on their roster for 2020. Pete Carroll is singing Clowney’s praises, emphasizing his strong season in 2019 and being clear about the team’s desire to bring him back in 2020. While the Seahawks would love to have him back, Clowney is going to be looking for a big contract, and it may be difficult for Seattle to find room in their cap space to accommodate this star DE. The Seattle Times indicates that the Seahawks will be meeting with Clowney’s agent at the NFL combine, so more information may become available in the next few days.
Clowney is going to be a strong IDP no matter where he ends up. If he can put his injury troubles from 2019 behind him and play a full season at full health, he is likely to be a consistent producer for fantasy owners in 2020.
New York Giants
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported the Giants and Colts are among the teams that might have interest in Clowney in free agency. NJ.com highlights the Giants biggest needs for 2020, indicating DE is a position that the team needs to prioritize.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported the Colts and Giants are among the teams that might have interest in Clowney in free agency.