The Las Vegas Raiders have made a contract offer for free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, according to Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan. The offer is supposedly less than what two or three other teams have presented. Lammey adds that head coach Jon Gruden really wants Clowney but general manager Mike Mayock and owner Mark Davis have been unwilling to budge on increasing the financial compensation of the offer. According to the daily updated NFL Player's Association public salary cap report, the Raiders have roughly $7.9 million in salary cap space. The team has already made substantial monetary commitments to linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski, Cory Littleton as well as defensive end Carl Nassib this offseason.
Las Vegas had previously been mentioned as a potential suitor for Jaguars edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
Clowney remains the best free agent on the market. The seventh-year player out of South Carolina is more known for his ability to stuff the run than sacking the quarterback. He has never recorded more than 9.5 sacks in a season, which could explain why teams have been so hesitant to dole out the $22 million (or more) that he had been seeking initially. Last season, he recorded 31 tackles, three sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumbles recoveries and an interception in 13 games. Although he has only missed nine games over the past five seasons, there are concerns over the core and knee injuries sustained throughout his career. During this time in our nation's history, it is more difficult to travel and receive the medical clearance teams will require before opening their checkbooks.
The South Carolina native had reportedly lowered his asking price to less than $17 million and would be content playing out a one or two-year deal.
It is believed that the Browns have extended the most lucrative deal for Clowney but his interest in the AFC North franchise is lacking. Opposite talented edge rusher Myles Garrett, Clowney would face fewer double teams. New defensive coordinator Joe Woods comes over from a 49ers system that perpetually flustered opposing quarterbacks. The Titans have also expressed interest. Head coach Mike Vrabel served as defensive coordinator for the Texans when the 27-year-old had his best statistical pass rush season. The Seahawks can not be ruled out either. Despite adding Bruce Irvin and Darrell Taylor, Seattle would be appealing because there is familiarity between the two parties.