The Jets have a giant hole on board. Texans buy Jadeveon Clowney, three-time Pro Bowl champion.
It seems obvious to add 1 + 1 and get 2, but not necessarily in this case.
The Houston Chronicle has reported that the Jets are one of five teams "known to have spoken with" the Texans about Clowney. But that could just mean that the Texans called the Jets to see if they were interested. Everyone in the NFL knows that the Jets need this job.
Jets members feel that the Clowney team is not attracting much interest. There are many reasons why the craft does not make sense to the Jets.
You never dismiss anything completely at this time of year, but it does not look like a match.
Start with Clowney's contractual situation. Houston has applied the franchise etiquette to Clowney and it has not yet signed the $ 16 million tender offer. In the way franchise tags work, teams are allowed to negotiate a long-term deal with the player until July 15th. A moratorium on negotiations is scheduled until January. This would mean that any team that is trading for Clowney has no guarantee that it will be with it in the long run. The team could use another franchise tag on it again next year, but that cap will be close to $ 20 million.
According to overthecap.com, the Jets have a pay gap of $ 14.7 million. Therefore, if they were to acquire Clowney, they would have to send their salary to Houston or find another way to free up space. It is not difficult to create space for capes, but acquiring Clowney would leave the Jets very little leeway this season to engage players if they have to fill a hole in case of injury.
There is also a question of how much Clowney is worth. He did not respect the hype that surrounded him when he was the # 1 choice in 2014. He has 29 sacks in five seasons. The maximum that he has had in a season is 9.5 in 2017.
There are questions about his work ethic and he has had injury issues earlier in his career. This is not the same as when the Raiders traded Khalil Mack last year. Clowney is not as dominant.
Even if the Jets wanted Clowney, it would seem to them that it would be difficult for them to make the deal anyway. Dolphins are widely considered the best. The Miami Herald reported that Texans want Laremy Tunsil's left tackle in Miami under any deal with Clowney. There are also rumors that the Texans are negotiating an agreement with the Redskins on left tackle Trent Williams.
It seems that Houston is interested in modernizing its offensive line. It was also reported that they wanted a wide receiver. The Jets have no players at these positions likely to attract Houston. Perhaps Robby Anderson could interest them, but the Jets can not afford to create a hole in the receiver by treating it.
Last week, Jets GM Joe Douglas was asked if he would be willing to handle repechage picks to win the best player.
"If he was the right player, we would certainly entertain him," Douglas said. "We are improving this list. If the right opportunity arose, I certainly would not close it. "
Is Clowney the right player to part with a second round pick? Doubtful.
The other half of this equation is this: Would Clowney want the Jets? He holds all the cards here because the Texans can not trade him before signing his offer. Reports indicated that Clowney wanted to go on a playoff team. The Jets are at best a playoff contender. The Chronicle reported that Texans spoke to the Seahawks, Eagles, Redskins and Dolphins in addition to the Jets. Seattle and Philadelphia are much closer to the Super Bowl than the Jets.
So, even though Clowney might be an intriguing option because of the hole that the Jets have on board, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits of it.