Believe it or not, Jadeveon Clowney is still a free agent, waiting to be signed.
No team wouldn’t want Clowney. He is an explosive defensive end who can get to the quarterback in a matter of seconds. The Houston Texans took him with the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. He spent five years in Houston before the Texans traded him to Seattle for Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo, and a third-round 2020 draft pick.
Even though Clowney could help out any team, three teams need Clowney for their defense to reach the next level.
*All stats from pro-football-reference.com*
New York Jets
The New York Jets have one of the worst defensive lines in football right now. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams runs a Base 3-4 Defense. Henry Anderson and Quinnen Williams are at defensive end, with Steve McLendon at nose tackle. The Jet’s entire hope of a successful defensive line runs around a young, developing Williams. The Jets took him with the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He had a sub-par first year, battling injury and recording 2.5 sacks and 28 tackles. Anderson and McLendon as well combined for an abysmal 3.5 sacks. Besides, the addition of Clowney would give Williams a mentor and may excel his path to stardom.
The Jets dealt former first-round pick, Leonard Williams, to the Giants partway through the season last year. He was the guy who was able to hold that defensive line together and give it some relevance.
The Jets recorded 35 sacks, averaging 2.2 a game, placing them 23rd in both categories. Besides, a healthy linebacking core helping stop the run game significantly, Clowney could help prevent the run game up front.
The Jets do have $25 million in cap room, according to OverTheCap.com. Enough space to sign Clowney to at least a one-year deal and potentially set up a more massive deal in the future.
The Cleveland Browns do have one of the better defensive lines in football, but there is no reason not to improve. The Browns already have Myles Garrett, who averages just above ten sacks in a season. Joe Woods, the defensive coordinator, in his first year with the Browns, runs a Base 4-3 Defense. Clowney played in a 4-3 D in Seattle, so he is familiar with how it works.
Despite the talented defensive line, the Browns struggled to get to the quarterback, ranking 20th in the NFL in sacks (38). Adding Clowney to the mix would have offensive coordinators panicking on how to deal with Garrett and Clowney. All while there are two other defensive linemen as well. Double-teaming one of them on one side could give the other one a better chance at the quarterback with only one blocker.
The Browns are a playoff team on paper, but they struggle when they are put together and play. Clowney can be that critical addition that gets the ball rolling on defense.
The Browns have the most cap space in the NFL with $38.6 million. Plenty of money to sign Clowney, who is definitely worth it.
The Titans are another playoff-caliber team who could use the addition of a superstar. Currently, they have Jeffery Simmons, DaQuan Jones, and Isaiah Mack as their starting defensive lineman. The Titans lost their Pro Bowl defensive end, Jurrell Casey after being traded to the Denver Broncos.
The Titans surprised everyone after making it to the AFC Championship game, ultimately losing to the Chiefs. What failed them was a lack of defense. The Titans scored 24 points in the game, and the Chiefs scored 35. Usually, scoring 20+ points in a game will win you the ball game if you have a good defense. In this case, the Titans did not. The addition of Clowney to their team would allow more pressure put on the quarterback, making him throw a little quicker and not be as smart with his decisions.
The Titans need to add a star defensive player to their roster, one, to replace the hole left by Casey, and two, to lead the defense to hold the opponents on offense more. They are ultimately allowing the offense to score 20+ points and win the ball game.
In terms of money-wise, the Titans have just over $22 million in cap space allowing for a one-year deal. The deal could become long term if they were to free up space from larger contracts, a likely possibility.
What Signing Clowney May Mean
All three teams should attempt to sign Clowney to improve their defense and chances at the playoffs. All three teams could make the playoffs and have the rosters to do so. They need to add another star player on defense.
Of course, other teams are in contention for Clowney and may have a better chance at him, but these teams need him to take their team to the next level.