imagn’s Kyle Terada

It turns out Jadeveon Clowney may have a market, after all. With one week until the start of the 2020 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints are “sending an all-out blitz” to try to sign the free agent pass rusher ahead of their Sept. 13 opener, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The former Seattle Seahawks defensive end hasn’t appeared on the verge of a deal since hitting free agency in March, but his stint as an unsigned veteran is “nearing a close,” per Pelissero, and the Saints want him badly.

Clowney has “spoken multiple times to coach Sean Payton,” Pelissero noted, with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport echoing the report: “The Titans have also maintained interest … with the Seahawks monitoring. But the Saints are pushing hard. Clowney would play right DE in an even front, on national TV more than he ever has (before), with a chance to cash in for 2021 after a one-year deal.”

New Orleans had not necessarily been on the forefront of the Clowney sweepstakes in months past, but the Saints have proven to be all in on attempting to capitalize on a short-term window for championship contention. The 27-year-old Clowney, who was traded to the Seahawks from the Houston Texans prior to 2019, would arguably give them one of the NFL’s top pass rushing corps — with an elite duo in Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport already in the lineup.

Strictly judging by salary cap space, the Saints would appear to be out of the mix for the former No. 1 overall draft pick, who has reportedly sought anywhere between $17-20 million annually in free agency. But NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports the team has “been talking to agents for players currently on the roster to see if they can restructure some deals in the coming days.” Projected to have just over $3 million in current cap space, “they’re working to create room in case” they can add Clowney.

The Titans have long been linked to Clowney, with general manager Jon Robinson openly hinting at the possibility of adding the ex-Texans star on multiple occasions. But talks between the two sides have evidently not seen much progress during Clowney’s long stint on the open market, where he reportedly turned down several lucrative offers from both Seattle and the Cleveland Browns.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports the Jacksonville Jaguars “are also monitoring the situation,” though it seems highly unlikely Clowney would even consider entertaining an offer from a team that’s auctioned off a handful of young, high-profile talent in recent years.

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