As NFL training camps get underway, Jadeveon Clowney is still a free agent, looking for a franchise to play for in 2020. According to Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report, it doesn’t appear many insiders and experts expect that to change anytime soon. The analyst wrote on Thursday that some believe it could be several weeks into the preseason period before Clowney finds a home.
Charles Robinson wrote on Twitter that he was one of those who didn’t think that Clowney would be getting a new contract “soon.” He said he’d spoken to several sources who all believed it would be a while before the edge rusher signed. One of those sources pointed out the player didn’t report to camp until the end of August last year and it is looking likely that will be the case this year as well.
In 2019, he reported to the Houston Texans late because he wanted a new contract or a trade. One month after he did report, he was sent to the Seattle Seahawks in a trade deal.
Zucker believes Clowney might be taking a calculated risk because he wants to see how much the NFL sands shift. More than 30 players have opted out of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The writer believes it’s possible that Clowney wants to see if he might get a better offer from a team he wants to play for if even more people decide not to play at all.
Teams seeing their rosters affected by opt-outs are also seeing those decisions give them more salary-cap space. Both the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans are suddenly finding themselves with more space under the cap because of people not reporting to camp.
Insider Mike Reiss appeared on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday and pointed out the Patriots have more than $24 million to work with now. They were a team that entered the week near their spending limit.
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 29, 2020
Unfortunately for Clowney, Reiss also said he didn’t expect to see the Patriots go after the defender. For now, it appears that the team will mostly stand pat when it comes to its starting defense and will only add to its roster when it sees what holes have been left, closer to the regular season.
The Titans are reportedly not showing much interest in Clowney either, despite having cleared around $22.5 million in cap space.
It’s not known exactly what the biggest factor in Clowney still being a free agent is right now. Some believe he’s asking for far too much, while other analysts think he’s biding his time until his dream franchise comes along.