Just before the start of the 2019 season, Jadeveon Clowney was traded by the Houston Texans to the Seattle Seahawks. This marked the first time in his NFL career that the defensive end switched teams.
Now, though, it could happen again prior to the 2020 campaign.
The 27-year-old is one of the top defensive players on the free-agent market this year, and the former No. 1 overall pick will soon be deciding where he plays the next stage of his career. He spent his first five seasons with Houston before he was dealt to Seattle.
Because of coronavirus concerns, the NFL may decide to delay the start of free agency, which is currently set to begin Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. However, it will arrive at some point.
Here’s a look at the latest buzz surrounding Clowney and two other top defensive players on the free-agent market.
Clowney didn’t put up the biggest numbers last season for the Seahawks, as he had 31 tackles and three sacks, both totals marking his lowest for a season in which he played at least 13 games. However, he did have his first career interception and a pair of fumble recoveries while scoring two touchdowns.
ESPN.com is predicting he won’t be back in Seattle in 2020 because of the hefty price that it will likely take to land him. The Seahawks could go with a more affordable option to help fill the void on their pass rush.
Where could Clowney head if he’s not going back to Seattle? According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, the Giants are one of the teams he would like to join, although New York may also struggle to afford him.
There aren’t too many top pass-rushers available on the free-agent market, so Clowney will likely get a big contract from a team that can afford it.
Anthony Harris Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
Last season, Anthony Harris had a breakthrough year. After never starting more than nine games in a season previously, he led the NFL with six interceptions while also setting a career high with 60 tackles in 14 games, all starts, for the Vikings. And now, the safety is heading for free agency.
The 28-year-old has expressed interest in returning to the Vikings and shared on the RapSheet and Friends podcast (h/t Vikings Wire) what he’s enjoyed over his five seasons with the team.
“I love Minnesota, the culture and my teammates. I’d like to go back there,” Harris said. “But it’s smart to keep my options open.”
And there will likely be plenty of options, as Harris should have plenty of suitors despite his lack of starting experience. There’s a strong chance he could repeat his success from last season, which would provide a boost to the secondary he joins.
Byron Jones Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Byron Jones is set to head into free agency, and he’s about to get paid big.
According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo, the 27-year-old is likely going to make $16-17 million per season. And that’s where the market is reportedly going to start, so there’s a chance he’ll make even more.
Although he has only two career interceptions, with his last coming in 2017, he’s a reliable, consistent cornerback who provides strong coverage. He’s played all but one game over his first five NFL seasons, and he’s had at least five pass deflections and 46 tackles each year.
A former first-round draft pick, Jones will be making a lot of money soon enough. It will be interesting to see which teams will be able to afford the cost and make a run at him.