Upgrading the pass rush is seemingly the Jacksonville Jaguars' biggest priority before the start of the regular season and Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report suggests they give Jadeveon Clowney a call.
Moton recently took a look at potential landing spots for the top defensive free agents and believes the Jags would be an ideal fit for Clowney, noting that he's no longer a marquee player but he could be worth a flyer if healthy.
"If Clowney comes into training camp with a clean bill of health, he could perform at a level comparable to his 2021 campaign. A team may not be willing to sign him on an eight-figure contract without incentives, but he's worth a gamble on a $6-7 million deal because of his recent production with the Browns."
Clowney, the top overall pick in the 2014 draft, has tallied 43 sacks and 13 forced fumbles in nine NFL seasons. While he's never registered more than 10 sacks in a season, he's great at defending the run and can consistently create pressure up front. The former South Carolina Gamecock spent the first five years of his career with the Houston Texans. He got traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2018 and joined the Tennessee Titans the following season.
After a two-year stint with the Cleveland Browns, Clowney became a free agent in March and remains unsigned as of this writing. He said in May that he would like to return to the Texans but it's uncertain if they're willing to meet his contract demands.
Edge rusher Leonard Floyd inked a one-year deal worth $7 million in early June and defensive end Frank Clark got a one-year $5 million contract from the Denver Broncos just a few days later. It's possible that Clowney is aiming for a similar amount.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have options to bolster their pass rush
Even if Travon Walker and Josh Allen make a leap in 2023, they'll need someone else to round out their rotation. However, head coach Doug Pederson wants to see if any of their young players can step up before looking for outside help. If the Jags do decide to bring in someone, Clowney is a solid option but there might be better alternatives.
Clowney signed back-to-back one-year deals with the Browns. The first one paid him $8 million in 2021 and he "essentially" got $11 million last year. He's coming off a season in which he missed five games and only logged two sacks. On top of that, in uncertain if he might be willing to take on a complementary role behind Walker and Allen. For those reasons, it might not make sense for the Jaguars to bring him about unless he takes a steep discount.
Instead, the team's brass should set their sights on veteran Justin Houston, who registered 14 sacks and two forced fumbles for the Baltimore Ravens over the last two years. Yannick Ngakoue, a familiar face, could be another option. At 28, his best football might be in front of him.
Ngakoue said that he wants to get a long-term deal and would like to join a Super Bowl team. The Jags might not be able to give him the contract he's looking for but they could give him a realistic shot at playing in the championship game.
The Jaguars could wait until training camp to decide whether they'll sign a veteran pass rusher. If they do, they should inquire about Clowney but should also keep other options open.