The NFL isn’t Clown-ing around. At least not yet.
The robust free-agent market expected for Jadeveon Clowney has not materialized, which is a surprise especially after so many of the other top pass-rushers received the franchise tag. Clowney was hoping at the start of the week to become one of the five-highest paid pass-rushers in the NFL, with a salary around $20 million per year.
But whispered concerns about his motivation after a big payday, his injury history and his lack of a double-digit sack season are proving costly.
The Colts traded for DeForest Buckner and handed him $21 million per year. The Bills, Giants and Cowboys drained salary-cap space by prioritizing other impact moves. The Jets are hard-lining estimated player values.
It all has thinned Clowney’s market. A return to the Seahawks could be possible, but it only takes one team that missed on another target to redirect funds and change the market.
Here are 10 other notable free agents still available after three days of negotiations:
S Vonn Bell: Saints replaced him with Malcolm Jenkins. Bell is a box safety who delivers bit hits (seven forced fumbles in four seasons).
WR Emmanuel Sanders: Linked to the Cowboys, but Sanders’ best years (2014-16) are behind him.
OLB Markus Golden: He took a one-year prove-it deal last offseason with the Giants and proved it (10 sacks). A reunion is the smart option for both at this point.
WR Robby Anderson: As soon as Amari Cooper re-signed (five years, $100 million) with the Cowboys, Anderson became the No. 1 available wide receiver and a priority for the Jets. His market is softened by the crazy receiver depth in the draft class.
RB Melvin Gordon: All is eerily quiet on this front. The Texans (likely suitor) instead traded for David Johnson. Could he follow Tom Brady to the Buccaneers?
CB Logan Ryan: Rutgers product grew up 30 minutes from the Eagles’ home and could fill their biggest need.
QB Jameis Winston: Displaced by Brady, best-case scenario is competing for a starting job with the Patriots, Jaguars or Dolphins.
TE Eric Ebron: Thirteen of former Lions first-round pick’s 27 career touchdowns were with 2018 Colts, but he fell out of favor last season.
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: Likely headed to his fourth team in three seasons, but makes plays in coverage.
DE Everson Griffen: Career-long Viking took a pay cut and had a bounce-back year in 2019.