Interesting news on Jadeveon Clowney.
For a while, it seemed like Jadeveon Clowney was dragging his feet in free agency, but the truth is that he may not have anywhere to sign yet.
The Tennessee Titans are believed to be front runners for Clowney and both the team website, head coach and GM have all talked about him specifically, which is so uncharacteristic of that group.
However, there may be a reason why there hasn’t been any progress in the last month or so. Tony Pauline shared this today:
Player physicals remain a major issue. Some teams disallow players getting physicals at the office of a team doctor and mandate the team doctor must perform said physical on players at the team facility. This is not a broad-brush rule, rather a team by team mandate.
On a related note, there is serious concern about existing free agents and their inability to work out for teams, participate in mini-camps, and take physicals. The bottom line is there is no fix for veterans still on the market. In fact, teams are currently prohibited from bringing in free agent players to examine them or sign them to a contract.
And when players are finally able to sign contracts? The NFLPA is looking hard at digitally signing them to minimize face-to-face contact.
The big takeaway from that is the line, “In fact, teams are currently prohibited from bringing in free agent players to examine them or sign them to a contract.”
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Jadeveon Clowney has struggled with injuries his entire career, so it makes sense for a team to be cautious with him. What makes the problem even worse for him is that the rumors are that instead of the cap going up by $40 million (which some people projected before the 2020 offseason), the 2021 cap could actually go down.
That means that teams who have filled out their roster are now looking at a free agent with an extensive injury history and they have to decide on how badly they want him knowing that they will likely need those millions of dollars next season if the cap doesn’t increase.
This is the worst-case scenario for Clowney and in the end, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take a deal that averages out to less than $10 million AAV per year. Whether that is one year or more, I don’t know, but teams are going to want to make sure they aren’t putting all their eggs into the 2020 basket for a player that they haven’t seen practice and who hasn’t been medically cleared.
While I think he would be a major piece for the Titans and he could change the way we look at the Titans offseason as a whole, this is a scary situation for whichever GM and team ends up with his contract given all of this uncertainty.