Yahoo Sports senior NFL writers Charles Robinson and Terez Paylor discuss DE Jadeveon Clowney’s free agency and if he’s asking for too much in contract talks.
TEREZ PAYLOR: Is it worth it? That is the question that teams across the NFL have asked themselves about Jadeveon Clowney for the last several months. Clowney is a free agent. He wants a significant amount of money. His production in a contract year, at least when it came to rushing the passer, wasn't great-- 3.5 sacks-- still a really, really strong run defender, but teams will pay edge rushers that can get to the quarterback. Charles, what factors do you think are kind of at play as we are now in June with this guy?
CHARLES ROBINSON: I can tell you I have talked to multiple teams that have done the dance with Bus Cook, Clowney's agent. And they're tired of it-- straight up. Like, I'm just telling you right now they're just tired of this. And you know, the Browns had options on the table for him-- you know, money that was good-- we're talking, you know, $18, $19 million. The Seattle Seahawks danced around a number of different numbers for Jadeveon Clowney that were not quite on the level of the Browns.
There was, you know, a little bit of a Baltimore Ravens dalliance, you know, looking in at one point on Jadeveon Clowney. The Jets had the initial foray. The Dolphins had the-- I'm just telling you right now, teams are done. Like, they're just done. They're like, all right, man, whatever. Like, you know what our stance is. You know what our numbers were. We're moving on.
And I, frankly, am telling you 100%, we are to the point now where, between when this break begins between now and training camp, it's going to be, hey, Bus, when your guy decides, you know what, man? I actually want to play some football. You know what, man? I actually want to be on an NFL team. And you know what? I'm actually going to listen to what everyone's telling me, including my own NFL agent, these numbers are the numbers.
It's not going-- this $20 million number's not going to fall from the sky and just, oh, miraculously happen. The chase in terms of NFL teams, I think it's largely finished. I think it's just sort of, OK, we are where we are. Whether it's Seattle or Tennessee or the Jets or the Browns-- again, the Browns, the Browns, the Browns-- call us when you really think you want to be a football player again. And that's not a good look-- straight up not a good look.
TEREZ PAYLOR: Because here's the thing-- even if he didn't want to take, like, the one-year prove-it deal for, like, $15-plus million or whatever, that's actually pretty good money in the COVID NFL right now. A lot of these guys-- that's why a lot of those guys have signed the franchise tags-- just signed their tenders, so they could just bank, you know, $11 million guaranteed this year. Get it-- because we don't know what's going to happen to the salary cap next year. So now he's put himself in a situation where he's kind of waited it out and waited it out, but, like, there's no more money coming from anywhere.
CHARLES ROBINSON: OK, look-- if you're turning your nose up at this point-- I'm sorry, straight up, I'm going to say it-- if you're turning your nose up at even a one-year deal for $18 to $19 million, where things are in Cleveland, where things are for Jadeveon Clowney and you're turning your nose up at $15 million from the Seattle Seahawks, I got nothing for you. I got nothing for you at this point, because their-- teams do not covet him like that. They just don't. I understand he knows what his worth is. It is not meeting the reality of what is out there in the NFL. And I don't know how to say it any more plain than that.
TEREZ PAYLOR: By letting it linger so long, he's also kind of feeding into people-- people who always believe that they didn't know how much he loved football.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yes.
TEREZ PAYLOR: It's like--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yes.
TEREZ PAYLOR: Oh, do you, like, not want to be on a roster so you don't have to be accountable and go to these meetings? Like, that's what people are going to ask themselves, because they were asking themselves that when you were the number one pick too. It's an interesting-- I don't know if it's fair, but that's what's happening.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Which is too bad, because I can tell you-- I live in Houston, and Clowney has been in Houston nonstop working out. From what I've heard, he's in spectacular shape. This comes down to whether as a free agent, are you a guy in the category of, hey, don't worry about it, you're good no matter what? Or are you in the category of, don't give them reasons? He is in the category of don't give them reasons, and what's going on here?