It seems the majority of Seattle Seahawks fans want Jadeveon Clowney back, but they’re not willing to break the bank to do so.
Clowney, Seattle’s star defensive end, remains a free agent nearly a month into the signing period, and speculation continues to run rampant about where he will eventually land. Seattle reportedly remains in the hunt, but the Seahawks seem reluctant to meet Clowney’s asking price.
Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to weigh in on the situation, asking them what they thought the Seahawks should do about Clowney.
POLL: What should the Seahawks do about Jadeveon Clowney? Full context, including a closer examination of the situation, here: https://t.co/St2OCdHHHJ
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) April 6, 2020
Add up the votes between the polls posted on Twitter and on the Seattle Sidelines Blog and more than half the voters — 58% — said they thought the Seahawks should try to bring Clowney back, but only at a reasonable price. There was a substantial chunk of the electorate, 28%, that said Seattle should re-sign Clowney at all costs, while 14% said the Seahawks should let Clowney walk.
What this indicates is that the general feeling among Seahawks fans is that Clowney is a good player, but not a great one. He’s a player who would be nice to have in the fold, but not one who’s worth squeezing the salary cap for.
There’s a certain amount of justification for this opinion. Clowney, the former first-overall pick in the draft who the Seahawks acquired via trade with Houston prior to last season, may be a three-time Pro Bowler. However, from a statistical standpoint he’s never been a pass-rushing dominator. He had just three sacks in 13 games last season and has never reached double digits in a season in his six-year career. Add in the questions about Clowney’s health, considering he missed three games last season because of a core-muscle injury that ended up requiring surgery, and it’s understandable that there would be reluctance to hand Clowney a contract in the five-year, $100-million range.
That said, there are advanced stats that suggest Clowney is far more disruptive than his standard stats suggest. According to ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate metric, Clowney finished seventh in the NFL among edge rushers with 24% win rate. This was despite the Seahawks finishing just 16th in the league in team Pass Rush Win Rate, meaning opposing offenses knew Clowney was the player they needed to deal with most. Then there’s the eye test, and Clowney passed that big time in Seattle’s crunch 27-24 victory at San Francisco. Clowney was hampered by his core-muscle injury in that game, imagine what he could do if 100% healthy.
According to OverTheCap.com, the Seahawks have about $12.5 million available in salary-cap space for 2020. Therefore, if the Seahawks want to re-sign Clowney they’re going to have to make moves to clear up space. That would likely involve asking other veterans, like Justin Britt or even Russell Wilson, to restructure their deals.
Clowney’s camp has put out signals that it’s willing to wait to get the deal it wants, and that may involve waiting out social-distancing measures so he can undergo physicals with specific teams. So hunker down, this may not be settled for a while. And given the scarcity of sports news due to sports being shut down because of coronavirus, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.