Jadeveon Clowney or the Seahawks: who wins the waiting game

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 29: Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 29: Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Jadeveon Clowney is betting he’ll hit a mega-contract. The Seahawks wager the market isn’t as rich as he expects. Who will win this high-stakes gamble?

You may not have heard, but there’s a guy the Seahawks had on the team last year that they’d really like to have back. No, I’m not talking about Tedric “Look Ma, no hands” Thompson. No, my concern is a bigger player with a much bigger impact on the Seahawks. A positive impact at that. That player would be Mr. Jadeveon Clowney, Esquire.

Clowney, as we all know, has been playing a waiting game with Seattle and the few other teams that have shown any interest in his services. To say he’s been surprised by the relative lack of interest would be putting it mildly. Okay, that’s not entirely correct. There have been other suitors for Clowney, most notably the Cleveland Browns. But no team has offered anything close to what Clowney believes he’s worth, at least according to various reports.

Josh Hill of FanSided’s Stacking the Box wrote that the Browns latest offer, $15 million for one year, seriously lowballed the three-time Pro Bowler. I will take exception to one point in the article, though. Hill wrote that Clowney had the lowest sack total of his career, which is obviously true, other than his four-game rookie campaign. But to say that Jadeveon Clowney was largely an afterthought on the Seahawks defense is, um, how can I say this? I’ll just go with wrong.

Jadeveon Clowney of the Seahawks
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 02: Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

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Clowney was the cornerstone of the Hawks defensive line, despite his low sack total. He absolutely disrupted opposing lines in game after game. Ask the 49ers how Clowney can impact a game. Only two players were double-teamed more than he was, yet he still finished with the second-highest pressure rate of his career. A tip of the cap to Alistair Corp of Field Gulls for that solid piece of information.

Now, everything else Mr. Hill wrote is absolutely correct. A one-year deal for $15 million is a low-ball offer. No, I don’t think Clowney is worth the $20 million per year he reportedly expects, but a one-year deal has to be much higher than that to get the man’s interest. The Seahawks reportedly offered him contract worth in the range of $45 million over three years, which got a polite no thank you.

Gambling on the outcome

Both sides are taking a serious gamble here. Jadeveon Clowney is rolling the dice that some team out there will suffer a serious blow to their roster once camp starts – whenever that may be. He’ll be in the perfect position to happily sign the dotted line, as one of the few legitimate impact players available. The Seahawks are watching both Clowney and the other teams, hoping that the market continues to shrink, giving their offer greater cachet with their wayward lineman.

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I believe that Clowney will do exactly what I’ve outlined above. He’ll wait for camps to open in hopes that he’ll have more leverage with a team in sudden dire need. The Hawks, meanwhile, will continue to wait him out, knowing they’ve not only made the best offer, but that Clowney would prefer a return to Seattle. My hope is that both sides win, and Jadeveon Clowney realizes the Seahawks will give him not only the best contract, but the best home.