There’s been a lot of trade talks in the past few days and weeks regarding Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney, and we may be coming to a conclusion. Michael Lombardi of The Athletic reported on Saturday that Clowney may be traded within the next 24-48 hours and that he’d be shocked if he wasn’t. Lombardi said there are multiple teams in the mix for Clowney, and we’ve been working to track those teams down.
According to information gathered by PFN’s Tony Pauline, Cole Thompson, and Matt Cannata, we have come to understand that the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins have all expressed interest in acquiring Clowney’s services. There are likely others and we will update the post as we uncover these teams.
One important note is that Clowney has expressed his desire to play for a contender rather than be part of a rebuild. While this doesn’t preclude a rebuilding team such as the Dolphins from acquiring him, it does present a major hurdle.
Furthermore, any team not looking for a rental would need some type of assurance that he would be committed for the long term. But, due to league rules, Clowney can’t sign a new contract until the new league year begins in 2020. Former sports agent Joel Corry recently wrote the following on CBS Sports.
To make matters worse, the CBA also expressly prohibits any discussions about a new contract or any type of agreement in principle now that would go into effect after the regular season ends. The penalties would be an effective deterrent from violating the rules. Clowney and his agents, Bus Cook and Donald Weatherell, would be subject to a fine up to $500,000. Commissioner Roger Goodell could impose a fine for as much as $6.5 million on the team where up to two first round picks could also be forfeited. The team employees involved could be facing a year suspension and would have the same financial exposure as Clowney and his agents.
Therefore, any team looking for a long term commitment would have to sell him on their plan for the future and also would likely have to offer him more money than a contender would, such as the Seattle Seahawks.
One team mentioned as a possible landing spot if Clowney is traded are the Seahawks, a pass-rushing needy defense who traded Frank Clark before the draft. We know that Houston is looking for help at offensive tackle, wide receiver, and running back, so one could speculate that Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny could enter the conversation.
The Bills have also expressed interest in acquiring Clowney. If the Bills were to complete a deal for Clowney, you would have to think that it would include RB LeSean McCoy and/or WR Zay Jones as part of the package.
The Dolphins were rumored several weeks ago to be working on a Clowney trade, but it appeared that things fell apart because Clowney did not want to come to Miami. We know that Miami is still interested in acquiring Clowney, but the feeling may not be mutual.
The Dolphins, along with other teams that we haven’t been able to identify, have also expressed interest in acquiring linebacker Benardrick McKinney, but it does not appear the Texans are willing to part with him at this time.
Why is this trade taking so long?
At the end of the day, Clowney has a lot of control over his destination because he has to sign his franchise tender with Houston before they are able to move him. Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien confirmed this at his press conference on Saturday night.
“Until he comes in and signs the tender, really the ball’s in his court relative to playing for the Texans and all those things, just like it’s been since the beginning of training camp,” O’Brien said. He’s a franchise player, and so, until he comes and signs the tender, really there’s nothing else to talk about.”
Clowney and the Texans have been far apart when discussing a long term deal. The indication is that he is hoping to be paid top pass rusher money rather than as a run stopper. Last season, Clowney collected 21 quarterback hits and nine sacks. Per Pro Football Focus, he ranked second among all edge-rushers in run defense.”
Stay tuned here and to @PFN365 on Twitter for the latest.