Jadeveon Clowney is still without a team as NFL players are set to report to camp. Despite the progress the NFL and NFLPA have made in altering the CBA due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, Clowney's market hasn't heated up in the aftermath.
Thomas tweeted on Saturday he wants the Saints to sign Clowney. The three-time Pro Bowl defensive end still has not found a new team for 2020, as his price has significantly diminished. The Cleveland Browns have been engaged in the Clowney sweepstakes, but those talks seemed to have reached an impasse after they restructured the contract of Olivier Vernon. The Las Vegas Raiders have reportedly offered Clowney significantly less than what he was seeking and the Tennessee Titans still remain in contract with the edge rusher.
In other words, Clowney to the Saints is just a realistic option as any at this point -- especially since he's willing to play for a Super Bowl contender and still is looking for a team to play for this season. Clowney also said he would sign with a team before the season starts.
Clowney to New Orleans or I don’t want to hear it 🖤⚜️— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) July 25, 2020
Clowney would add a huge boost to a Saints pass rush that already has Pro Bowler Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport as the current starters at defensive end. Davenport has 10.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in two seasons. He's been productive, but Clowney would likely be the starter opposite of Jordan if he were to sign with the Saints.
Jordan is coming off a career-high 15.5 sacks in 2019, his third consecutive double-digit sack season. One of the best pass rushers in football, Jordan finished with 49 pressures in 25 quarterback hits. Never missing a game in nine seasons, Jordan has recorded 87 sacks with the Saints.
Clowney has 32 sacks in six NFL seasons with 80 quarterback hits, 252 pressures and three Pro Bowl appearances. While his resume is impressive, Clowney had just three sacks in his lone season with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019. Playing through a core muscle injury didn't help Clowney, even though he finished with 31 tackles, four forced fumbles, 13 quarterback hits and 47 pressures in 13 games.
Clowney has never recorded a double-digit sack season. His career-high was 9.5 in 2017. His second-highest total was nine in 2018, even though Clowney had 75 pressures that year. Clowney's history of injuries hasn't helped his case, as the edge rusher has played all 16 games in a season just once in six seasons and missed a combined 21 games over the course of his career.
Investing in Clowney on a one-year deal could be huge for the Saints, a franchise trying to give Drew Brees one more Super Bowl title before he retires. The Saints are "all-in" on winning a championship, so their pursuit of Clowney would make sense -- should they choose to enter the sweepstakes.