Rumors of the New York Jets’ interest in free agent OLB Jadeveon Clowney were reignited yesterday when new Jets safety Bradley McDougald posted a screenshot of a facetime with Clowney entitled, “Spoke to my boy @clownejd today, told me to the tell the @nyjets to come get him!! Let’s make it happen 🙏🏾”
Clowney is a very good player: an elite run defender and a decent pass rusher. The 2020 Jets, however, aren’t the right team at the right time for Jadeveon Clowney.
In his press conference on Sunday, Joe Douglas stated that the Jets are in a rebuilding phase. A rebuild typically involves the accumulation of draft capital for the purpose of acquiring and developing young, cheap talent. Clowney is the antithesis of that. Clowney is 27 and has not yet signed with an NFL team because he hasn’t received a financially satisfactory offer. Furthermore, since the NFL & NFLPA agreed to spread the profit shortfall caused by COVID-19 over 4 years, now is a better time than ever before to maximize the amount of cap space that will roll over from year-to-year.
If the Jets were competing for the playoffs, Clowney would be a logical move. However, the Jets simply are not a great fit for this team in this moment.PRO
I believe the Jets should sign Jadeveon Clowney. I don’t think it’s a straightforward decision. The financial aspect is the largest hurdle given the current uncertainty about the upcoming season due to COVID-19. The duration of the contract becomes a big question. But I think they should draw up a two year contract and sign him anyway. Here’s why:
Clowney is an excellent fit in Gregg Williams defense. Clowney is as versatile as they come. Williams is very good at moving chess pieces around in the front seven. I wrote an overview of the defensive formations Williams would eventually utilize with the Jets last season. Clowney fits into each of those with ease. He can play defensive end in their 4-3, and in their nickel 4-2-5. He also can play both interior defensive line and OLB in their many variations of the 3-3-5. His athleticism would also make him the perfect addition to Williams’ blitz schemes.
Clowney also fits the identity the Jets are moving towards defensively. That identity is based in aggression and turnover production. Clowney is a turnover magnet. People harp on him only having 3 sacks last season but he forced 4 fumbles, recovered 2 fumbles, had 2 defensive TD’s. When he’s around the ball, he impacts the game. The Seahawks, as a team, finished 11th in total takeaways in 2018. After trading for Clowney, in 2019, they jumped to 3rd in total takeaways in 2019. Also, he’s still one of the best run defenders in the NFL despite a down year statistically. The Jets were already a top 5 run defense without him and without a single healthy linebacker. It should be a clear net gain if they add him, despite losing Jamal Adams.What do you think? Should the Jets sign Jadeveon Clowney?