Plan A: Jadeveon Clowney
This one seems to be the odds on favorite for what should happen next.
We are pretty certain that the Tennessee Titans are sitting on $35 million in cap space before calculating the Vic Beasley deal which should put them in the $25.7-$23.2 million range.
Putting pieces together, you would think that the Titans were freeing up cap space in order to fit a player on the roster that they couldn’t fit without that extra $12 million that they got from the Casey trade.
That means someone that they couldn’t give an $8 million or so in their first season (assuming that they used around $5 million for draft picks).
So we can assume that they are looking for someone to pay in the $10+ million range in year one and with bigger money an option down the line.
Well, look no further than Jadeveon Clowney who hasn’t found the market he was hoping for this offseason.
While he talked about resetting the market, I think we can reasonably say that he knows that he doesn’t deserve to make more than Khalil Mack who is making $23.5 million.
The next closest contract that he could look at for comparison was DeMarcus Lawrence, but Lawrence was coming off of back to back Pro Bowl seasons where he had 10+ sacks.
After being hurt last season and having one of the worst years of his career, I would think that being paid like a top-5 player at his position is probably off the table as well.
Realistically, Clowney could try to take a short team deal that mimics the franchise tag for around $18 million per year or he could take a longer deal and make anywhere from $16 to $18 million based on similar contracts around the NFL.
If the Titans could get him for $16 million (which could be his best offer when you consider income tax), that would be an absolute steal.
Just to do some relatable math this would mean that the Titans let Jack Conklin and Jurrell Casey go make a combined $31 million elsewhere in 2020 and they gave up around $29 million in 2020 to Clowney, Derrick Henry and Dennis Kelly.
Would you have traded Conklin and Casey for Clowney, Henry and Kelly if given the option?