GM John Schneider says the door isn’t closed to a return of DE Jadeveon Clowney, but the Seahawks have begun to backfill his position.
If there is wiggle room with the Seahawks in the Jadeveon Clowney negotiations, general manager John Schneider Tuesday offered nary a quiver.
“He came in and did a great job for us,” Schneider said Monday during a pre-draft Zoom conference from his home with area reporters. “We made an effort to re-sign him. The door is not closed, but we couldn’t wait any longer. We had to conduct business. Everything was very cordial. He’s is a great guy.”
Clowney’s agent, Bus Cook, and Schneider go back, he said, to his “Bret Favre days” in Green Bay. But that didn’t count for much after the Seahawks’ reported offer of a single year between $13 million and $15 million was deemed insufficient.
“We’ve had great conversations,” Schneider said. “Clowney is just gonna kind of feel his way through this odd process and we’ll see where that goes.”
Clowney is easily the NFL’s most well-regarded free agent who remains unsigned. But he also had abdominal surgery after the season to repair a nagging injury. Once the NFL joined the other sports leagues in shutting down to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the league imposed a travel ban that precluded free agents and team doctors from getting together for physical exams.
Apparently Clowney, 26, is going to wait until the ban is lifted to prove to potential employers that he is healthy enough to be worthy of the top-tier D-lineman compensation of around $20 million per.
Meanwhile, Schneider helped filled the pass-rush void by adding two former Seahawks, Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa.
Coach Pete Carroll, on the video conference with Schneider, naturally hyped their returns.
“Glad that we found a couple guys that we really liked, that we know the background of that fit into our program,” Carroll said. “(2019 first round pick L.J. Collier) will have a year under his belt. Hopefully we can keep him healthy. He got hurt last year, and we thought we’re gonna lose him for the whole season. We’re able to get him back, but that just wasn’t ideal from a developmental standpoint.
“We’ll see if Clowney comes back around or not.”
Said Schneider: “Pass rush is always something we’re focused on. Obviously, we need to do a better job in that regard, that’s from an acquisition standpoint, from a developmental standpoint, and a schematic standpoint.”
Another free agent pass-rusher, Everson Griffen from the Vikings, also is available, but like Irvin, is 32.