The Jacksonville Jaguars were exceedingly active in free agency this offseason thanks to an envious amount of cap space. General manager David Caldwell has done a good job of trimming the fat and taking care of some financial burdens imposed on the franchise by former general manager Gene Smith. After hitting on some key free agent acquisitions in 2013 – Sen’Derrick Marks and Alan Ball being the two most prominent – it’s time to see if any players from this free agent class can be as successful going forward.
Today we break down a player who is in the twilight of his career – defensive end Chris Clemons.
Undrafted coming out of the University of Georgia in 2003, Clemons bounced around between the Redskins, Browns, and Raiders before signing a long-term contract with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 where he became one the league’s best pass rushers. Here’s a look at his statistics since 2007 with the final 3 columns being Pro Football Focus grades.
|Year||Snaps||Tkls||QB Hurry||QB Hit||QB Sack||Pass Rush||Run Def.||Overall|
Oct 14, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) following a play during the thrid quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Even after signing a long deal with the Eagles in 2008, Clemons didn’t get significant playing time until he started playing with the Seahawks. Clemons exploded onto the scene and ended up as the 4th best 4-3 defensive end in 2010 according to Pro Football Focus. While his sack numbers are impressive, his overall presence as a pass rusher was outstanding. His run defense was apparently lacking a bit, but his value as someone who could get to the quarterback far outweighed any of his other shortcomings.
Clemons should come in and be effective right away due to his familiarity with head coach Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme, but he is on the cusp of 33 years old and less than 2 years removed from a torn ACL. Clearly Clemons is a stopgap player who won’t be here in a year or two, but he makes this team better now.
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