Not just about money (Lomas)
Dealing with the cap in free agency is going to be tricky for a lot of teams this year, but the biggest “cost” of re-signing Clowney has nothing to do with money.
Mike Vrabel already showed that he doesn’t care about results as long as you listen to what he says and as long as you are friends with him. He showed us that with the Shane Bowen double-down.
Jon Robinson is a different guy and he hasn’t made it a habit of rewarding players who don’t produce. One “cost” of bringing Clowney back is that you are telling the locker room that if your name is big enough it doesn’t matter whether you show up to training camp or whether you even produce on the field, you will be given a second chance.
Also, I’m not sure that the rest of the team even remembers that Clowney was on the roster. With limited social gatherings outside of football and with just a handful of practices with the team before the season started, most of the Titans players probably spent more time with Desmond King than they did with Jadeveon Clowney.
Time equity (Lomas)
The other “cost” is that if you commit to bringing Clowney back, he isn’t going to be a rotational player. The money that he is going to command and his body of work says that he is going to get 75% of the snaps on defense and he will be the true starting EDGE opposite Harold Landry.
Not only does that completely take you out of the free agent market for EDGEs, but it changes the way you have to view EDGE going into the 2021 NFL Draft.
Would Jon Robinson draft an EDGE in the first round with no intention of him taking more than 25% of the snaps? Even when the Titans drafted Jeffery Simmons, he quickly became a guy who played 50% of the snaps or more.
Is Clowney worth kicking the need at EDGE until 2022? Or would the Titans’ time and money be better served by letting him walk and hoping that another team falls in love and the Titans get rewarded with a 2022 compensatory pick?