Baltimore Ravens Free Agency targets profiles: Jadeveon Clowney
The Baltimore Ravens were linked to edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney a year ago, though his time in Baltimore never came to fruition. That may change for 2021.
Remember when it seemed inevitable that Jadeveon Clowney was going to join the Baltimore Ravens in 2020? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Clowney was one of the biggest names on the 2020 Free Agency market and teams were intrigued in adding the three-time Pro Bowler.
What made Clowney such an interesting case study on the market was his lack of production in the sack department. Clowney was coming off a three-sack season with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019 after the team traded for a couple of players and a 2020 NFL Draft third-round pick. It was disappointing, to say the least, but anyone who watched Clowney play could tell you that he was still an absolute dog for the Seahawks.
Unfortunately for him, teams don’t pay for pressures (even though they should); they pay for sacks, and that’s an area Clowney has never dominated in. Because of this, he ended up signing a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans for the 2020 season to prove that he was worth top-end money. Instead, Clowney wound up playing just eight games due to injury and didn’t record a single sack. Now he’ll enter Free Agency once again with more to prove than ever before.
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This is where the Ravens come into play. Baltimore is in need of pass-rushing reinforcements with five of the team’s top-ten sack artists from a year ago hitting the market, including Pro Bowlers Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue. With that kind of mass exodus, one needs to likely recreate that aspect entirely. We could see a very different pass-rushing unit for 2021, but maybe Clowney can be a part of that.
The first thing that Jadeveon Clowney has going for him to go to the Ravens is that he’ll be a cheap addition. Clowney signed for $12 million with the Titans last year and with the subpar season he put together it’s unlikely that he’ll see that much again this year. Comparatively, both Judon and Ngakoue will likely see north of $12 million on the market, making Clowney a much cheaper option than one of those two.
Clowney may not get sacks, but he sets the edge as well as anyone else in the league. Teams purposefully won’t run the football at Clowney’s side of the field because he’s an immovable object. This is something Baltimore has always valued in its edge rushers, making Clowney a natural fit for this defense.
Another strength for Clowney is getting after the quarterback and making life easier for his teammates. Ravens fans who watched Ngakoue play for the team in 2020 knows that sacks aren’t everything when you can create pressure and disrupt the opposing offense. If you like Ngakoue for this defense, then you should equally like Clowney.
The bottom line here is that while Clowney isn’t going to be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, he can still be a very solid addition to a defense that honestly shouldn’t be very picky. Clowney will likely cost pennies on the dollar compared to other options and he can be a solid addition for the short-term at a minimum.
While Jadeveon Clowney isn’t the stat machine fans want, nor is he likely a super high-upside player at this point in his career, he is a great budget piece the Baltimore Ravens can afford to take a gamble on. The worst-case scenario is that Clowney is a decent starter for a year while the team continues to rebuild its edge-rushing core. The best-case scenario? Baltimore finds itself a Pro Bowl-caliber guy who perhaps can be looked at as a long-term option after 2021.