There is no offseason saga quite like the Tennessee Titans chasing a big-name free agent to no avail. Dating back to Peyton Manning in 2012, it seems Titans fans are routinely disappointed by the hopeful promise of free agency.
More recently, there was linebacker Dont’a Hightower in 2017 — his Nashville heritage and Jon Robinson’s background in New England made for an easy connection. Then there was Ndamukong Suh in 2018, who eventually chose the Rams after being spotted having lunch with Mike Vrabel at The Southern.
The latest in this lineage has shown perhaps the most promise of any of his predecessors. Free agent outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney has been linked to the Titans since March by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, and has still not made a decision now in mid-August.
Sunday morning, Jeremy Fowler appeared on SportsCenter on ESPN to give an update on Clowney’s status, where he mentioned that the Tennessee Titans have made an offer to Clowney somewhere south of his reported asking price, which Fowler estimates to be around $17M per year.
Here’s the segment from SportsCenter on ESPN this morning where Jeremy Fowler mentions that the Titans HAVE offered Jadeveon Clowney a deal somewhere under his $17M/year asking price. (Originally tweeted by Titans Film Room (@titansfilmroom) on August 16, 2020.)
Back in May, Diana Russini was the first to report that the Titans had indeed made an offer to Clowney. It is not clear if Fowler is referring to these offers from months ago or if the Titans have engaged in more recent talks with the linebacker.
At his last media appearance, Titans General Manager Jon Robinson did intimate that he’s had conversations with Clowney’s representation, so perhaps these talks are aggressing.
The longer Clowney waits to sign with a team, the less time he has to prepare for the start of the 2020 season, and the more a reunion with former position coach/defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel might make more sense for Clowney than any other potential landing spot.
It’s worth noting that Clowney spent last offseason holding out for a new contract from the Houston Texans. He never reported to offseason work or training camp and was traded to the Seattle Seahawks on August 31st, 2019, just 8 days before the Seahawks opened the season against the Cincinnati Bengals. Clowney came out of the gate with a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, a pass deflection and a QB hit.
With training camps all across the league now well underway, Clowney is running out of time to make a decision. There are some rumors that he could wait until September to sign with a team just as he waited until September for Houston to trade him a year ago.
There were also rumors that Clowney would hold out for the entire season before Houston traded him. Some wonder if he may be willing to sit out the 2020 season while he waits for a team to meet his asking price, although if Clowney himself is to be believed (in comments to Josina Anderson in late June), he will be making a decision before the year kicks off…