As the 2020 NFL offseason reaches the dog days of summer, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is zeroing in on a marquee free agent. The Silver and Black have extended an offer to former 2014 first overall NFL draft pick Jadeveon Clowney. Will the Raiders coach get his way? If he does, the Raiders may truly experience a Christmas gift in July.
The Raiders Did What?
That’s correct, the Las Vegas Raiders have offered free-agent Jadeveon Clowney a contract after months of speculation.
No one is certain as to what Clowney’s intentions are, but the fact that Gruden is making a late push for the pass rusher is telling. The catalyst behind trading former Raiders All-Pro Khalil Mack may be having seller’s remorse. After all, he has been on the record stating good pass rushers are hard to find.
“It’s hard to find a great one, It’s hard to find a good one. It’s hard to find one; you just said it. With college football, they aren’t dropping back to pass and throwing anymore.” – Jon Gruden in an interview with NBC’s Scott Bair regarding pass rushers after the Khalil Mack trade in 2018.
Were owner Mark Davis and general manager Mike Mayock to cave to Gruden’s desires of upping the contract offer, the organization could reap the rewards of a quality pass rusher in 2020.
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What Clowney Would Bring to the Raiders
After being traded from the Houston Texans to the Seattle Seahawks in August of 2019, Clowney still performed as a top defender in both the run and pass game. According to Pro Football Focus, the former #1 overall pick generated 48 pressures on opposing quarterbacks.
Jadeveon Clowney had one of the most dominant one sack games youâ€™ll ever see. Finished with 5 tackles, 5 QB hits, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/kB0liI2CkN
— Riley Michel (@rileymichel) November 12, 2019
Sacks (three in 2019) are again not accurate representation indication of the caliber of talent Clowney is. The former South Carolina Gamecocks edge rusher has consistently shown that he is still one of the best.
The Jadeveon Clowney effect.@clownejd forces and recovers the Gurley fumble! #Seahawks
ðŸ“º: #LARvsSEA on FOX
Learn how to watch: https://t.co/I6INVckndX pic.twitter.com/nCr06KmRAv
— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2019
In a division with Patrick Mahomes, his services would greatly be welcomed in Las Vegas if the price is right. The Raiders defensive line has the potential to be elevated from good to elite with the trio of Jadeveon, Maxx Crosby, and new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. There is only one question now, will Jon Gruden get his way? It would be rather surprising if the $100 million coach does not.
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Top Photo by the Associated Press