Both Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider said at the NFL combine last month that the Seahawks’ pass rush was the biggest issue for the team’s pass defense struggles last season, and the team continues to hope to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney to solidify the line.
But as of Monday afternoon it was unclear where things stood on that front.
As the Clowney watch continued, a report surfaced that he turned down $17 million per year from the Miami Dolphins early in the process.
As often happens in the world of NFL free agency — where few of the participants speak on the record — that report was refuted by another stating that the Dolphins never made a formal offer to Clowney.
Miami has signed two other defensive ends and would appear to no longer be interested in Clowney.
The Dolphins, though, would have made sense as a pursuer of Clowney given their interest in him last year. Miami was reported to be the other team that had an offer to Houston, but Clowney made clear at the time he didn’t want to go there so the Texans eventually traded him to Seattle, instead.
The report that Clowney may have turned down $17 million — assuming it’s accurate — would also be telling in illustrating what it is that Clowney has been seeking, and may still want.
The report of the Miami offer came from Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, who stated the Dolphins “discussed $17 million annual average deal at one point in process with Seahawks free agent Jadeveon Clowney, per sources. Didn’t accept, so Dolphins moved on with Shaq Lawson. Clowney aiming for $20 million average, but could wind up signing for less on shorter deal.”
The Miami aspect of that report was rebutted by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald who tweeted that an “involved party” stated “there was no Dolphins offer for Clowney.”
The most telling part could be the report that Clowney is “aiming for $20 million” average.
By all accounts he’s nowhere close to getting that from Seattle.
While there have been a handful of differing reports on what Seattle may have offered Clowney (who is represented by Bus Cook), the most anyone has reported the Seahawks have offered is $18.5 million. But several reports, one repeated again Monday by former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps on 710 ESPN Seattle, is that the team’s initial offer was $13.5 million.
If so, Clowney may be setting his sights on a short-term deal that would allow him to hit free agency again in a year or two when the salary cap will rise, and he won’t have to deal with the current travel restrictions which means he can’t make visits to team facilities for physicals. Clowney’s health — he had surgery in January to repair a core muscle injury — is thought one of the reasons he has not gotten offers in his hoped-for $20 million range.