Should Indianapolis Colts outbid Browns for Jadeveon Clowney?
By Mike Luciano
The Indianapolis Colts still have not done much to address their need at edge rusher this offseason. With the contract status of Justin Houston still up in the air, is there any chance that the Colts end up picking Jadeveon Clowney before the Cleveland Browns beat them to the punch?
Despite the fact that Clowney mustered just three sacks during the last two seasons, which came with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans, he has a healthy free agent market, as his poor production can be attributed to both injury concerns and playing on two very poor defenses in the last two seasons.
Clowney, a three-time Pro Bowler and former All-Pro, might not reach that level in the near future, but he could be a perfect secondary pass rusher on a playoff team.
As it stands, the Browns are trying to create arguably the best tandem of rushers in the league between Clowney and Myles Garrett.
Clowney appears to be on his way to the Browns after turning them down last offseason, though there’s been a brief delay in their talks this week despite “mutual interest”.
Is there any chance that the Colts overpay and take him away from Cleveland?
Well…if Clowney wants to re-establish himself as elite, Indianapolis might not be the best place for him.
Could Jadeveon Clowney join the Colts?
Clowney’s downturn in sack production is the result of two very simplistic defensive schemes. In Seattle, he didn’t have anyone that could take blockers away, making him one of the most double-teamed players in the game. In Tennessee, Clowney was hampered with injuries.
In Cleveland, Clowney not only would get to play in a scheme that is similar to what he learned last year with the Titans, but he’ll have an incredibly talented defensive line around him. With Garrett ready to stake his claim as the best pass rusher in football and Sheldon Richardson still a quality tackle, Clowney could kiss double-teams goodbye.
If the Colts don’t bring back Houston, which is looking more likely by the week, look for them to either promote Ben Banogu, Tyquan Lewis, or Kemoko Turay to the starting lineup. If that fails, they could add another pass rusher in the draft. Overpaying for Clowney and bringing him into an Indianapolis defense that could still see him get doubled isn’t very prudent.
Clowney would be much more successful in Cleveland than he would be in Indianapolis. Will the Colts try to replace Houston with Clowney, who will still be able to pressure the quarterback at an above-average rate, just to make sure a Wild Card contender in Cleveland doesn’t pick him up? Possibly, but don’t go preordering a No. 90 Colts jersey just yet.