Safety Andrew Wingard recently said that the Jacksonville Jaguars' pass rush shouldn't be a cause for concern and maybe he's right. But that hasn't stopped them from doing due diligence on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who could give their defensive front an immediate boost.
The Jags brought in Clowney Sunday, per multiple reports. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media then shared the news that the Pro Bowl defensive end had left Jacksonville without a deal. Clowney, the first spent the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns and hasn't found a new home since becoming a free agent in March.
The former South Carolina Gamecock said after the draft that he wouldn't mind returning to the Houston Texans, the team that drafted him first overall in 2014, but a reunion didn't materialize and he's still searching for a club to latch onto for the 2023 season.
Clowney has appeared in 109 games with 98 starts and has registered 320 total tackles, 13 fumbles and 43 sacks over the last nine seasons. Besides playing for the Texans and Cleveland, he's also suited up for the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans.
Signing Jadeveon Clowney makes sense for the Jaguars... at the right price
It's unknown what Jadeveon Clowney's salary demands are but that could be a potential hurdle to get a deal done with the Jags. The same is true for his potential role in Jacksonville. Clowney wouldn't probably start and would instead be part of a rotation that includes Josh Allen and Travon Walker.
Although the Buffalo Bills got Leonard Floyd on a $ 7 million deal and Frank Clark signed a one-year contract worth $4.5 million with the Kansas City Chiefs, Yannick Ngakoue got $10 million from the Chicago Bears. Maybe Clowney is looking for a contract that pays him as much as Ngakoue but coming off a somewhat underwhelming season, he might have trouble getting that kind of amount.
Just recently Justin Houston got a one-year, $7 million deal from the Carolina Panthers and he's arguably a more accomplished pass rusher than Clowney. It's important to note that Clowney is currently weighing his options. He's also met with the Baltimore Ravens, so it doesn't look like he's looking for the best possible fit (aka the best bid for his services).
From the Jaguars' side of things, it makes sense to explore the possibility of signing Clowney. Walker and Allen could be one of the most dominant pass rush tandems in the AFC but they need to round out their rotation. Rookie Yasir Abdullah flashed in his preseason debut, totaling three tackles and a sack. However, he's still a work in progress and might need a bit of time before he can contribute.
Outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson, a first-round pick in 2020, has been underwhelming the last three years. The coaching staff is still high on him but he hasn't done much to make you think he'll put it all together in 2023. There's also Jordan Smith, who seems to be on the fringe ahead of the regular season.
Clowney, on the other hand, would give an immediate boost to the Jaguars rotation. He could fill the role defensive end Arden Key had on the Jacksonville defense as a movable chess piece that sometimes lines up with his hand on the ground but can also rush the passer from a standup position.
From the outside, it's hard to tell how the talks between the Jaguars and Jadeveon Clowney went but signing him to bolster the pass rush without having to break the bank would most definitely make sense.