Jadeveon Clowney’s Stubbornness Could Kill His Career
If you had asked, most NFL analysts would have said Jadeveon Clowney would be scooped up early once free agency started. He has not been the superstar he was expected to become, but he has been a good player (when healthy).
Yet, with the start of the regular season only days away, he remains unsigned.
According to media reports, the issue all along has been his salary demands. He wants to be paid on par with the best defensive linemen in the league. But the problem teams are having with that is he is not one of the best.
He’s not even in the top ten according to the grades at PFF.com (19th last season). But, yet, he wants $15 million a season, and if he doesn’t get it—well, then he’s not playing.
ESPN’s John Clayton was asked recently if Clowney could try to do like Le’ Veon Bell and had this to say:
“As of today, he’s taking the same position, ‘It’s either $15 million, or I’m not playing,’ and unless he changes that, then he’s not playing because no one is going to pay him $15 million, particularly now that you saw [Browns defensive end] Olivier Vernon took a (pay cut to $11 million), and you saw that (Ngakoue is making $12 million). I think right now, it’s up to him.”
Clayton went on to say that the Seahawks would be interested if his price was closer to $11-12 million a season. Incidentally, the 19th highest-paid defensive end, Stephen Tuitt, is making $12.0003 million.
What Clowney doesn’t realize, of course, is that sitting out a year is not going to make him a more attractive option for teams in need of defensive end help. Not only because he’ll be a year older, but because teams in need will look to the draft and/or younger, more affordable free agents.
Everyone is willing to pay for a great pass rusher, but Clowney is not a great one. Good ones are in demand, too. But teams prefer young, affordable ‘good’ ones relative to older, injury-prone ones with unrealistic salary demands. Sitting out is more likely to end his career rather than encourage someone to pay him more.