It’s May, and the top free agent of the NFL offseason has yet to sign.
That’s unusual. There’s no Scott Boras in the NFL, holding back Bryce Harper for months before he signs. Top NFL free agents are practically in a gold rush to get the big contract. It’s a surprise when they’re unsigned a week after free agency starts.
Yet, it has been nearly two months and Jadeveon Clowney is still a free agent. For years we have heard how he wanted a $100 million contract, and it seemed he’d get somewhere in that range.
Jadeveon Clowney in no rush to sign
Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston caught up with Clowney, who has been very quiet this offseason.
And the main takeaway might be that Clowney could take a while to sign.
“The process for me is weighing my options and taking my time,” Clowney told Berman. “I’m in no rush right now.”
Free agent DE Jadeveon Clowney (@clownejd), working in Houston with @itsdannyarnold, in no rush to make a decision: “I know what’s going on in the world..It’s a slow process until teams can see me&see what I got & can give me physicals..I’m just waiting on the right opportunity.” pic.twitter.com/KI4yxV1Mw4— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 6, 2020
Berman said the Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles have all showed interest. Clowney didn’t rule out going back to Seattle, saying he loved the coaching staff there.
The coronavirus restrictions probably haven’t helped Clowney find a new team. He had microfracture knee surgery early in his career and is coming off core surgery for a sports hernia. Clowney said he is fully recovered, but teams aren’t going to make a big investment without being able to check him out themselves, and that isn’t possible now.
“I don’t know if people are thinking I’m hurting because of what I went through, because of the core or previous years, but I just want to let people know I’m ready,” Clowney said. “Whoever I sign with is going to get the best version of me.”
Clowney will be impact addition
It’s generally impossible for a team to add a player like Clowney in late spring or early summer. Whoever signs Clowney will be adding an impact star to their defense at a time in which available free agents are mostly role players.
Clowney indicated he expected to sign quickly when free agency opened, like most free agents of his stature. That didn’t happen, but he has accepted it.
“When free agency first opened up, I was fed up with it. It’s nerve wracking,” Clowney told Berman. “But as it set in and you heard about stuff going on, you just control what you can control.”
Clowney could tip the NFC East odds to the Eagles if he signs there, perhaps give the Browns the push they need to make it back to the playoffs, or turn the Ravens into the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Wherever he goes, expectations will rise accordingly.
That lucky team might not be revealed for a while.
“It’s going to present itself when the time is right,” Clowney said.
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