The Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes has now entered June, and one has to wonder if this is even technically considered a sweepstakes anymore. Apparently no team has matched Clowney's desired price tag, and he's clearly not in a hurry to sign. The former No. 1 overall pick once was asking for north of $20 million per season, but has reportedly lowered his asking price to somewhere around $17 million per year. If Clowney truly is looking for a massive contract, common sense tells us to look at the NFL teams with the most cap space when trying to identify a potential landing spot.
One team that has quite a nice amount of available cash and is in need of a pass rusher is the New York Jets, but a recent report indicates that they are not very interested in pursuing Clowney. On Wednesday, Rich Cimini of ESPN reported that while the Jets-Clowney speculation has lingered throughout the offseason, the truth is that they have never had serious interest -- and their position hasn't changed even with $11 million in cap relief from cutting cornerback Trumaine Johnson.
According to Over The Cap, the Jets have over $24.7 million in cap space, which ranks fifth in the league. The Cleveland Browns have the most cap space in the league with $37.2 million, but Clowney is in taking his talents to Cleveland. The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans have to Clowney as well, but they apparently did not satisfy what he's looking for.
In 13 games last season with the Seahawks, Clowney recorded 31 combined tackles, three sacks, three passes defensed and one interception. While those numbers certainly aren't some of the best he has put up over his six seasons in the NFL, Clowney appeared to be more at home in a 4-3 scheme instead of in a 3-4. There has been a lot of talk about jersey numbers in Seattle this offseason, which has led to much speculation, but Clowney says he hasn't ruled out a return to the Seahawks. Early last month, Clowney through Mark Berman of Fox 26, who reported that the Browns, Titans, Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles had shown interest in Clowney.
While they run a 3-4 base defense and Cimini says that the Jets aren't interested, it would actually make some sense for general manager Joe Douglas to reach out to Clowney. He's not known for big, splashy signings per se, but the Jets do need help at pass rusher. Jordan Jenkins -- who did record a career-high eight sacks last season -- will hold down one side, but it's unknown who will start at the other. Harvey Langi, Frankie Luvu and Tarell Basham will have a chance to compete for a starting spot, and maybe defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will even give third-round pick Jabari Zuniga a shot at outside linebacker.
There's no doubt that the Jets could improve at pass rusher -- and they have the cap space to do so.