As we cross over the two month mark since free agency began, the (arguably) best free agent available in this year’s class is still without a home. The draft is over. The free agency money has been spent. Yet, Jadeveon Clowney is still on the market.
There have been rumors swirling lately that the Eagles could be the one to reel in the big fish. Over the past weekend, Dan Sileo said that the Eagles had put a contract in front of Clowney. There have been other reports that the Eagles have had “interest” and Howie Roseman is always a go-getter. But nothing else has been said of THAT magnitude that the Eagles already offered a contract. The Eagles are in an interesting salary cap situation. So, how are they pulling this alleged contract off?
Maybe it would just be for one year.
The Eagles are in great financial shape for the upcoming 2020 season. But for 2021, not so much. You can read about it HERE but the Eagles are in salary cap hell the following season. If the Eagles cap situation were a scene in The Office, it would be the one where Michael says that he needs to put on a brave face, and then walks out and proclaims to everyone, ‘WE ARE SCREWED!”. Jadeveon Clowney and his reps are looking for roughly $20 million per year. Figuratively, the Eagles could make that work for 2020. But in 2021, they are $50 million OVER the cap, making a multi-year deal for Clowney at that cap number nearly impossible. It is the same reason it makes it difficult to pursue Yannick Ngakoue.
Alright, so what’s their play with Clowney then? Why get involved at all?
Well, it’s ironic that Alshon Jeffery, who put the Eagles into this cap mess, may also be the model they could follow with Clowney. In 2017, Alshon signed a 1 year prove it deal. And one Super Bowl victory later, he certainly proved it. It allowed him to parlay himself into the ridiculous long term deal he has now, with features huge guaranteed money. Clowney, who was traded by the Texans and now hasn’t been re-signed by the Seahawks, is running out of long term suitors. He may have to take one more brief pit stop on the road to a long term contract by signing a short deal in Philly, and playing well. For someone with his injury history, it may be a tough sell to his agent. But, it’s been done before and he certainly has the potential to parlay this into a serious deal.
Jadeveon Clowney is one hell of a talent and he would make an already ferocious defensive line in Philly even better. But, he comes with injury concerns, he only had three sacks last year, and his effort has been in question as to whether he takes plays off. There are still too many question marks surrounding his name for a lot of teams to commit to such a hefty price tag long term. A one year prove it deal could fix that. Help us help you.
The only other obstacle that could arise for Jadeveon Clowney coming to Philadelphia is let’s see…oh yeah, that time he said Eagles fans were the worst in the world.