There are seven days remaining until the start of the 2020 NFL regular season and free agent edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned. However, as Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports told ESPN 102.5 The Game Thursday, if a deal is going to happen, it could take place in the next 48 hours. Robinson notes that the decision would presumably come down to the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks, despite the former being less than captivated by how the whole process has played out.

“The Titans have been frustrated with the lack of engagement by him,” Robinson said. “I think they have wanted to get him in for a physical. A number of teams have wanted to get him in for a physical. He had core muscle surgery this past offseason. It has been a process trying to figure out what he wants, where his commitment is at and I think figuring out whether or not he understands what the price tag is.”

The Cleveland Browns reportedly offered Clowney contracts averaging between $17-18 million over one, two or three years. It was his highest and most flexible offer by a considerable margin. The team was clearly motivated to do a deal, but the South Carolina product preferred a destination where he was more familiar with the coaching staff. 

Clowney spent one season with Seattle after being acquired in exchange for linebackers Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin, as well as a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. During that time, the former No. 1 overall selection recorded 31 tackles, three sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception and a touchdown in 13 games. He has never recorded more than 9.5 sacks in a single season. 

Familiarity exists with the Seahawks, but it’s also a factor in Nashville. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel served as the defensive coordinator in Houston for Clowney’s best season: the aforementioned 9.5-sack campaign. Reasonably speaking, Clowney must play for someone with whom he has a history this season. He is likely staring at a one-year prove-it deal to re-enter free agency again next offseason. For him to maximize his value, he needs to come out of the gate strong, and it would help to have a pre-existing knowledge of the defensive scheme. Even then, Robinson says that teams are not excited by the idea of him walking in for the regular season without having gone through those 14 padded practices given his medical history.

Tennessee could use a pass rush supplement on their roster. The Titans signed Vic Beasley to help opposite Harold Landry, but the relationship between player and team has been a drama in and of itself. There is no guarantee that he makes the Week 1 roster. 

Seattle used a first-round pick on defensive end L.J. Collier last year and signed ex-Seahawk Bruce Irvin this offseason. Neither will strike fear in the opposition. The Seahawks also lost a pocket-pushing presence in the form of defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson. Pass rush is a big concern for the NFC contender, and Clowney might be just what the doctor has ordered. 

Clowney Watch continues into the 11th hour with the regular season almost upon us. 


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