The Titans look to have company in their pursuit of Jadeveon Clowney. The Saints are now be in the mix, with ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini reporting both New Orleans and Tennessee are making strong pushes to sign the Pro Bowl pass rusher (Twitter link).
Clowney has listed New Orleans as a place he would like to land, while Tennessee has been one of the teams most closely linked to the former No. 1 overall pick this year. Add the Jaguars to the mix as well, per Russini (on Twitter). While Pete Carroll did rule out a Clowney signing, Russini adds the Seahawks still view Clowney’s price tag as too high.
This could mean a high-stakes bidding war for the Titans, who have monitored Clowney for months. But the Saints are throwing an all-out attack at Clowney, per Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who note Sean Payton has spoken to the free agent defender multiple times about a deal (Twitter link).
Both teams want Clowney under contract by Monday, Russini adds, noting Titans and Saints players and coaches are acting accordingly by attempting to persuade the former No. 1 overall pick (Twitter link). This would put him in position to clear COVID-19 protocols and be in uniform for Week 1. This now makes two straight years the 27-year-old talent has skipped training camp.
The Titans hold $22MM-plus in cap space; the Saints possess less than $7MM. However, New Orleans has approached multiple veterans about restructuring to free up room, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.
While two unnamed teams remain in the Clowney mix, per NFL.com, the Saints entering the equation would be significant given Clowney’s previous interest and the team’s status as a Super Bowl frontrunner. The Saints have added Emmanuel Sanders and Malcolm Jenkins to a roster that already stood as one of the NFL’s best. Clowney would join a defensive front that already houses All-Pro Cameron Jordan and former first-round pick Marcus Davenport.
It is unclear if Clowney has dropped his price at the 11th hour, but that would make sense given the apparent acceleration of his market. The former Texans and Seahawks edge player sought a $20MM-per-year deal, then lowered it later in the spring. The Browns and Seahawks offered Clowney deals in the $15MM-AAV ballpark. The Ravens and Raiders have also been mentioned as Clowney suitors as well. The Browns redid Olivier Vernon‘s deal over the summer and have not been viewed as strong Clowney pursuers since.
The Titans may be growing frustrated with the three-time Pro Bowler, who apparently has been difficult to pin down recently. He would join Harold Landry and the recently signed Vic Beasley in Tennessee. The Seahawks would seemingly need Clowney most, but they have stood pat with lower-profile edge rushers all offseason. However, Seattle waited until roster cutdown day to reform their pass rush around Clowney last year. Regarding Jacksonville, Clowney may not be especially interested given his rebuffing of a trade to rebuilding Miami last year.
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