If Jadeveon Clowney wants only a one-year deal, the Seahawks should sign Everson Griffen instead.
Clowney’s market might be under $15 million at this point, per 710 ESPN’s John Clayton. We all know about the pandemic hurdle to teams giving Clowney a physical, but Clayton brings up another interesting thought: There aren’t many 4-3 teams in need of pass rushers now.
Washington, which has Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat, probably is going to draft Ohio State’s Chase Young at No. 2 overall; Indy just acquired DeForest Buckner to go with Justin Houston; and Buffalo, Tennessee and Las Vegas all have signed second-tier pass rushers to go with guys they have. Dallas, which added interior rusher Gerald McCoy, reportedly is not interested in Clowney either.
That would leave perhaps Philadelphia or Detroit as Seattle’s competition (no one else really has the cap space).
Seattle reportedly made a pretty strong offer — thought to be in the $18 million range. But John Schneider surely is not interested in Clowney for one year — even if it is for as little as $13 million (as Clayton surmised). So, if Clowney is determined to do a prove-it deal so he can get his $20 million next year, Schneider should go get the cheaper Griffen (who apparently is the Plan B for the few teams considering Clowney).
Griffen reportedly is hoping for $8 million to $10 million a year. He said goodbye to the Vikings because they declined to offer that much. The Hawks could sign him to a three-year deal that averages maybe $9 million and counts as little as $5 million in 2020.
If the Hawks could add Griffen, they still could then consider a trade for Jacksonville’s Yannick Ngakoue.
There is no real market for Ngakoue right now, especially with the Jaguars apparently sticking to a first-round request. And because Ngakoue is a 4-3 end and a lot of teams have filled their needs more cheaply, it sounds like Ngakoue’s price (in picks and cash) could come down, too.
Seattle could just wait it out until nearly draft time and see whether the Jags will give up the disgruntled pass rusher for a second-round pick.
Of course, Schneider would do that only if he knew Ngakoue — tagged for $17.8 million by the Jags — would sign a somewhat reasonable deal. Would he be OK with that figure on a four-year deal with Seattle, which seems willing to pay a premier rusher that amount?
If so, the Hawks could arrange a contract that would fit under this year’s cap — even with Griffen. They probably could get that pair for $16.5 million combined (their aggregate cap hit would spike in 2021, but Schneider and Matt Thomas could easily plan for that).
If Clowney is determined to take a prove-it deal, there’s no reason for Schneider to pay him $15 million — especially if he can get Griffen and Ngakoue for just a million more.
A trio of Ngakoue, Griffen and Bruce Irvin would still do wonders for Seattle’s pass rush.