Friday thoughts: Jadeveon Clowney latest, 53-man roster

Good news if you want Jadeveon Clowney?

Clowney met with the Dolphins last week. It was an attempt to win him around. It appears the sales pitch didn’t work.

Who can blame him really? The talk over the last 24 hours is Houston wants to package Clowney and draft picks to acquire Laremy Tunsil. Desperate for O-line help — and still reeling from the Duane Brown trade — the Texans were trying to be bold.

Clowney doesn’t fancy joining a team positioning itself to draft a quarterback. An extra first rounder helps if they need to trade up. Gaining Clowney would off-set some of the fan (and player) dissatisfaction from trading Tunsil. It’d be an attempt to say, ‘look — we aren’t really tanking’.

Meanwhile Albert Breer reports the Seahawks are ‘monitoring’ the situation.

If you want Seattle to trade for Clowney this is good news. The longer he says ‘no’ to Miami the more likely a move to the Seahawks (or the Eagles) becomes. He might have to lose a couple of paycheque’s first and hold out into the regular season. Eventually though, Houston will cut their losses and take the best deal on the table.

The price will drop too. Duane Brown cost a second and third round pick but he was also under contract for another year. Clowney isn’t just a free-agent in 2020. Any prospective buyer can’t even negotiate with him until the end of the season. This is the ultimate rental — and the price has to represent that.

The Seahawks, Eagles and any other interested contender will continue to hold tight and wait for the situation to come to them. Clowney knows his best shot to max-out free agency next year is to join a contender and have a big season. By consistently saying ‘no’ to the Dolphins — he has Houston over a barrel. As long as he’s willing to sacrifice dollars to force a trade to his preferred destination, he has the upper hand. The only stumbling block is if Houston calls his bluff. Eventually he’ll have to return to the Texans and sign his tender if he wants this season to toll and be a free agent next year. Does Bill O’Brien want to deal with the distraction to play hardball? Unlikely.

Seattle’s pass rush issues are well advertised. If they wait this out and find a way to acquire Jadeveon Clowney for 2019 at a discounted price — it will significantly boost their chances of competing in the NFC.

Here’s what they’d be getting…

Thoughts on the roster

Since my initial 53-man projection a lot has changed. Phil Haynes appears destined for the PUP list. Joey Hunt has a high ankle sprain. Ben Burr-Kirven put in a superb performance against Oakland. Geno Smith won the backup job.

Here’s my updated best guess…


Geno Smith clearly out-performed Paxton Lynch against the Raiders. He’ll be the backup in 2019 as long as his knee’s OK.

Russell Wilson
Geno Smith
Total: 2

Running back

C.J. Prosise will be the clear #3 if he isn’t traded. Travis Homer’s special teams value could be crucial. Although they haven’t used Nick Bellore as a full-back in pre-season — his contract and special teams value suggests he’s been making the team all along. J.D. McKissic could make it but I’m going to go with five running backs.

Chris Carson
Rashaad Penny
C.J. Prosise
Travis Homer
Nick Bellore
Total: 5

Wide receiver

David Moore isn’t going to be out too long. Gary Jennings was quiet again on Thursday and maybe he’ll be sacrificed after all? With Moore set to miss at least week one and D.K. Metcalf’s health a question mark — they might keep Malik Turner initially. A lot of people will shout for Jazz Ferguson but I think he will make the practise squad if cut.

Tyler Lockett
Jaron Brown
D.K. Metcalf
David Moore
Malik Turner
John Ursua
Total: 6

Tight end

Ed Dickson’s injury situation and the lack of clarity on when he’ll return makes me think he won’t make it. Jacob Hollister will be on a short leash to make plays but he possibly makes it simply to bolster the numbers here.

Will Dissly
Nick Vannett
Jacob Hollister
Total: 3

Offensive line

Do they cut Joey Hunt with the intention of bringing him back when healthy? Given how much they like Hunt, do they stash him and IR him so he can return? Can they afford to roll with Marcus Martin as a backup center or guard? Phil Haynes will go on the PUP list. This group would look a lot stronger if Hunt and Jordan Simmons were available.

Duane Brown
Mike Iupati
Justin Britt
D.J. Fluker
Germain Ifedi
Ethan Pocic
George Fant
Jamarco Jones
Marcus Martin
Total: 9

Defensive line

Initially I thought they would add a new player before the Bengals game but time has passed and nobody has arrived. Is there any player cut by another team that can give the roster a pass-rushing boost? It seems unlikely. The best bet might be to wait out the Clowney situation and see if they can get some value. Barkevious Mingo had a poor pre-season as a pass rusher but he makes it purely for his special teams value. I would expect Bryan Mone to make the practise squad and be available if needed down the line. I think it’ll come down to Earl Mitchell or Branden Jackson.

Ziggy Ansah
Poona Ford
L.J. Collier
Al Woods
Quinton Jefferson
Cassius Marsh
Jacob Martin
Rasheem Green
Barkevious Mingo
Earl Mitchell or Branden Jackson
Total: 10


Austin Calitro has played like a warrior in pre-season. A year ago he won a roster spot and this summer he’s again made an impression. Shaquem Griffin likely ends up on IR and Ben Burr-Kirven wins a roster spot with a dynamic performance against Oakland.

Bobby Wagner
K.J. Wright
Mychal Kendricks
Cody Barton
Austin Calitro
Ben Burr-Kirven
Total: 6


I think they’ll start the season with Ugo Amadi as the nickel, allowing them to carry an extra defensive lineman and stash BBK. They could easily add another player to compete at nickel given the incumbents were disappointing.

Tre Flowers
Shaquill Griffin
Akeem King
Neiko Thorpe
Total: 4


II think they’ll cut DeShawn Shead with the intention of signing him after week one when his contract isn’t guaranteed.

Bradley McDougald
Tedric Thompson
Lano Hill
Marquise Blair
Ugo Amadi
Total: 5

Special teams

There’s no drama here with all three specialists signed to long term contracts.

Jason Myers
Michael Dickson
Tyler Ott
Total: 3

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  1. Doug Fletcher

    Looks pretty good, but I would rather have Shead than Mingo. Shead can do what Mingo does on ST, plus he can backup all of the DB positions. And how about Willson (just cut by Oakland) vs Vannett?

    No doubt there will be at least one trade for someone who is not currently on the roster. Snyder gotta Snyder. Personally I hope he manages to pull off a trade for Clowney.

    • Rob Staton

      I’d never call Shead a bad special teams player but Carroll RAVES about Mingo as a special teamer. Highlights him as one of their core ST guys. I implore all fans to pay attention to stuff like that. They spent a large bulk of their 2019 draft improving special teams. Guys like Neiko Thorpe and Mingo are the core special teamers. Shead, for all his qualities, is not.

      The way Carroll talked about Shead this week (“We’ll be lucky to have him) made it sound extremely likely that he’ll be cut initially so not to guarantee his contract and then potentially brought back down the line. They might keep Shead for experience and depth at corner but not at the expense of Mingo.

      Vannett over Willson for me. There’s a reason they let Luke walk and there’s no real reason to cut Vannett.

    • Coleslaw

      Personally I agree. But I think Rob is right we (surprisingly) have enough depth at DE that Mingo could be last string and just play ST. Maybe a handful of snaps a game.

      He can still be used as an extra LB, too. He can slip right into Shaquems spot.

      His cap hit is the only thing that still tells me he could be cut.

      • TomLPDX

        The cap hit is the biggest decider for Mingo.

        • Rob Staton

          Special teams is the biggest decider.

          They’ll eat the salary easily if they value him as highly as Carroll has indicated on ST.

          • TomLPDX

            JS is a shrewd negotiator though. I definitely hear what your saying but John takes calculated risks and is always aware of the bottom line. He is a team-first dude,

            • Rob Staton

              There’s no benefit to the team if they cut him, want him back, and lose him.

              They have loads of cap space this year.

              • Donovan

                Technical question: Is there any benefit to a team being under the cap? Meaning does the unspent amount carry over to the next yr?

              • Milwaukee Hawk

                4.1 million for a special teamer? Not sure when I’ve seen that cap percentage used just for special teams.

                And remember cap space can be carried over to the following year under current CBA.

                • Rob Staton

                  But it won’t ‘just’ be used for special teams.

  2. Greg Haugsven

    Pretty good list, only change I would make would be to take off Mingo and add another CB. Maybe Taylor.

    • Rob Staton

      We’ll find out tomorrow but I expect Mingo to be involved because of special teams.

      One team values ST more than any other in the NFL.


      And Carroll raves about Mingo on ST.

      • TomLPDX

        Would anyone else pick up Mingo though? I can see him getting cut and then brought back at a lower salary.

        • Rob Staton

          Don’t know. Maybe. He’s never been short of offers in the past.

          To me he’s the type of player you either value so highly on special teams that you don’t risk it or you’re just inclined to move on.

          • Greg Haugsven

            I agree on the ST value but not sure at that $5.3 mill cap hit. Your right though, we will find out soon enough.

            • Rob Staton

              It’s a lot but there’s a +$1m dead cap hit and they’re not exactly tight for cash.

              It will also help with comp picks if he signs somewhere else at the end of the season.

  3. DC

    Kenny Sloth,
    How are you feeling about your Ducks vs Auburn tomorrow? Interesting matchup for sure. Oregon seems the more balanced team but a dominant DL (if it is) can make any offense look bad. Should be a good one.

    • Ashish

      I don’t see Mingo making the team. Jackson had good chance instead or maybe new player.

      • Rob Staton

        That might be true. But as bad as Mingo has been as a rusher, people really need to consider how valuable he is on special teams and how much Seattle values special teams.

        • Ashish

          I agree, but two things are against him. 1. There are other options available in ST and he doesn’t fill as a backup in any position. 2. Cost 3 millions for just ST and he will be out of contract. So better have players like BBK as a future

          • Rob Staton

            Other players playing special teams doesn’t necessarily make Mingo redundant though. There’s a difference between being good or capable on special teams and being a core special teamer. Both Mingo and Neiko Thorpe are considered core special teamers.

            They don’t have to cut BBK to keep Mingo either (as shown in the projection).

            Neither are they desperate for a $3m saving. They’ll eat $3m easily to avoid dropping a beat on special teams.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Hopefully we wreck that frosh!!!

      I don’t like teams that beat us in bowl games. Hate Ohio St. and Auburn lmaao.

      DL vs OL is the battle thatll make this game. I honestly am expecting a pretty low scoring affair.

  4. Jerry

    Hey Rob,

    Great insight, as usual.

    One question: you mentioned that the price for Clowney will go down. What do you think is the bottom? The rumors were that he could had for a 2nd rounder. As a team that will likely have two picks towards the end of the second round (ours and KC’s), is the minimum compensation going to be one of those picks? Or do you think the price might go lower than that? The thought of Clowney for a third (or a third plus a player) seems crazy.

    • Rob Staton

      I think a second rounder is somewhat fair given the chances of a third round comp pick in the future if/when he departs. But the thing to consider is this… if the Texans are resigned to him departing and the relationship is destroyed they have three options:

      1. Rescind the tag and make him a FA immediately
      2. Build bridges so he returns in 2019 and leaves as a FA in 2020
      3. Trade him for whatever they can

      If option #3 comes in to play at around week four (for example) — a third rounder isn’t that preposterous. After all, they’d simply be guaranteeing that third round pick in 2020 vs the non-guaranteed comp pick in 2021.

      So let’s see how this thing plays out over the coming weeks.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Keen analysis of the bottom line cost/benefit of trading now for a R2 (+ player?) or hoping you can win the stalemate by getting him to sign his tag and play a final season for the Texans. It’ll cost them basically a round in the pick they get in trade for him if they don’t trade him now and roll the dice trying to get him to play on the tag.

        Since they won’t be doing the first option, what’s the likelihood they hold tight and try to wait him out? How many games do they (or he) go before blinking? What’s the most SEA should give for him now? What about in week 5 or 6?

      • LouieLouie

        Hey Rob:
        What would you think about Fant for Clowney. As Seattle is pass rush challenged, the Texans are O-line challenged. That might be a trade for the Hawks that would be great for 2019, but maybe not-so-great for 2020 and beyond.

        Who knows, maybe Clowney and the Seahawks could settle in to a multi year relationship. If Clowney isn’t lights out or healthy, he may like to settle in Seattle.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t want to lose OL depth.

  5. Henry Taylor

    Paxton’s cut so there’s one correct call.

    Great to see BBK stepping up after I fought his corner on here the other day, got high hopes for that man.

    • Greg Haugsven

      Correct, Geno Smith now the back up QB.

    • TomLPDX

      Hey Henry, I think we are all hoping BBK makes the roster. He put on a show last night and he rocked the house! As for Paxton, I think he got the shaft and it was not even close. Feel for him but he will rebound and be a XFL star (hopefully), or some other team will recognize that he isn’t terrible and possibly a good backup for them. I like Paxton and hope he catches on somewhere and is successful.

      • LouieLouie

        TomL: I just hope Lynch isn’t successful against Seattle.

  6. downtownjewelrybryan

    would this three way trade work?

    hou gets tunsil
    sea gets clowney
    mia gets hou’s first and our 2

    • 12th chuck

      you sir,are a problem solver!

    • Jamho3

      Hear hear!

  7. Volume12

    IDK about ya’ll but I’m treating tommorow like a holiday. Stoked to have football back for the next 5 months!

    • Coleslaw

      I’m so mad.. lol I’ve always worked Saturdays. I haven’t been able to watch college regularly since I was in highschool. Been like 5 straight years ):

      Enjoy it 2fold for me man! And lemme get them names

  8. WALL UP

    JS & PC did place a big emphasis on ST in their selections during the draft, sacrificing perhaps talent for intelligence and ST abilities. Out of those rookies, (7) players have ST ability and experience. If Jennings does not make the 53, which appears to be the case, that would leave (6) new core players: Blair, Metcalf (who’s going to —- somebody up), Barton, Amadi, BBK, & Homer.

    Adding these new, experienced players to the existing core, it would appear that there would be a abundance of players vying for (11) spots for kick/punt return duties.

    I really believe that this new influx of talent on STs just might override the likelihood of keeping a Mingo, or a Bellore. We’ll see how it works out in the next 24hrs. Regardless, this will be a young & strong ST group.

    • WALL UP

      **forgot Ursua**, which makes (7) new, experienced ST players.

    • Rob Staton

      Again though, being young and capable on special teams doesn’t mean you get rid of the core special teams players.

      And some of these younger guys will be inactive most weeks.

      • WALL UP

        I thought about the (7) potential inactive players and came up with: (2) OL [Jones & Martin], (1) WR [Turner or Jennings (if kept)], (1) RB [Homer or McKissic (if kept instead of Bellore)], (1) DB [King], (1) DL [Mitchell or Jackson (I kept both instead of Mingo until Reed returns, and whichever one plays best stays], (1) LB [BBK].

        If one of the best, if not the best, off season acquisitions culminates with Clowney in the fold, it may be at the expense of Marsh, since he would play in the same position.

        That being said, of the (7) new ST Rookies potentially added to STs, only two potentially would be inactive, BBK & Homer (personally, I think both are exceptional ST players). Losing Mingo could more than be made up for by Barton, Blair, Metcalf or Amadi. Same holds true for Bellore who I think was acquired prior to the draft.

        • WALL UP

          I was mistaken. Bellore was a little over a week or so, after the draft. I guess they were adamant on rebuilding a weak ST performance from last year. They may now have an abundance of riches.

        • Rob Staton

          I’ll keep repeating myself…

          Just because you have guys who may be capable of playing special teams doesn’t mean you cut your core special teamers.

  9. charlietheunicorn

    Other known moves the Seahawks made Friday as part of their cuts to 53, per ESPN sources: DeShawn Shead, Shalom Luani, quarterback Paxton Lynch, running back Xavier Turner and defensive end Logan Tago were also waived.

  10. charlietheunicorn

    I just noticed Shane Ray got cut in Baltimore, could he be an option to fortify the DE/OLB pass rush?

    • Rob Staton

      I doubt it if he didn’t last in Baltimore.

  11. Ukhawk

    I wonder if they’d consider Ifedi + <2nd pick.

    He’s a UFA next year and probably a goner plus they could retain higher picks.

    Replace him with Fant/Jones

  12. Kenny Sloth

    Maaan Duane Brown, seems like he’s teasing an announcement on twitter

  13. KD

    Perhaps I’m just persuaded by the fantasy of it, but just get Clowney. Just go get him.

  14. STTBM

    While I love Clowney and see an obvious need for Seattle, it doesnt make me happy to look at the big picture: they destroyed their pass rush by trading Clark for Collier, basically. Collier isnt likely to produce much this year, Green is not stepping up like they apparently counted on, and now they are possibly going to trade a second round pick for a one-year rental of a guy who will get paid around 17.5 million? Doesnt seem like they will come out ahead, any way you slice it. Looks to me like a massive blunder.

    I get it, when things dont work out the way you plan, you move forward. But this isnt looking real good for Carrol and Schneider.

    Remember when they played hardball with Tate and then with Maxwell? With Maxwell, he said after the fact if they’d offered him more than 5 mill a year he’d have signed an extension (and he certainly would have taken what they eventually paid his worthless replacement). Seattle badly misjudged the deepening corner market, let Maxwell go, and then had to pay 7 million a year to a guy who played well in one game for us and was cut before the end of the year. The Clark/Clowney situation is beginning to look quite similar.

    Well, JS and PC generally do a fine job, so we’ll see if they can cobble a pass rush together.

    I have no idea what Seattle will do at WR, and I think Rob’s guess is as good as any. Wright has looked all along like a guy who belongs in the NFL, I already liked Turner, and Ferguson has looked like a real diamond in the rough–to say nothing of Ursua and Jennings. As Rob has pointed out, Ferguson has done his damage mostly against backups or third-stringers, and Seattle isnt likely to give up on a fourth round pick so soon. But you never know…Ursua also did a lot of his damage vs backups, and Taylor wasnt given a much of a chance to shine in preseason games.

    Wright did a much better job returning kicks than anyone except Amadi, and he was more consistent. So that could factor in as well…

    I realize Seattle isnt likely to end up missing whoever gets cut, but you never know…I remember how pissed I was they cut Michael Bennett back in the day, and Justin Forsett. I think Terry Wright and Ferguson have a place in the NFL and will be really good players. We’ll see…

    Regardless, it will be bun to see how the roster shakes out, and Im excited as can be for whupping the Bengals!

    • STTBM

      I meant Turner not Taylor…coffee not kicking in yet…

    • Spencer Duncan

      You have to remember the position that they were in at the time. Clark was commanding top pass rushing money, and he was unproductive as a run defender which is something that Carroll really emphasises. We were also pushed against the cap with extensions necessary for Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner (as well as Jarran Reed, who they hopefully get done later). Additionally, we had a severe shortage of draft picks, where we know Schneider loves to get as many picks as possible. Trading Clark allowed us to extend our two most important players, recoup a ton of draft picks, and now that we have a better salary cap situation and had what looks like a successful draft (as well as acquire lots of ammo next year), we can now get an equally productive player with more upside that is also a great run defender for less acquisition cost than we gave away for Clark.

      Seems like a massive calculated win instead of a blunder.

      • STTBM

        You are right Seattle got more than just Collier for Clark, I had forgotten that (Derp!). Still, even not knowing which players Seattle is trading for Clowney, they are only saving a few million a year, and possibly having Clowney for only a year. Then we’re back at square one, unless Collier lives up to their expectations.

        Clowney hopefully buys us a year for Green and Martin to improve, and for us to ID a DE to draft who can pass rush well. Its a calculated risk, and one that still may backfire, but at least there is a chance it will work out in Seattle’s favor. It would be nice if it did, and KC and Seattle end up happy.

        Clowney is better than Clark vs the run, as Rob pointed out earlier this year. But he isnt quite the pass rusher Clark is, and he’s older and has had multiple serious injuries. Lets all hope dude stays healthy…

  15. millhouse-serbia

    It is happening.

    2nd round pick, Ifedi and Britt are weapons for getting Jadeveon.

    Who give ?

    • Trevor

      Hawks have all the leverage. Clowney only wants to play there or Philly or he wont sign. I would not give up Britt or Ifedi. The OL is the strength of the roster right now along with LB. I say a 2nd round pick and perhaps Prosise. I think the 2nd alone might get the deal done.

    • Kevin Mullen

      Procise, Ifedi, & 3rd.

      Pocic, Penny, & 4th.

      1st round, swap their 4th & 5th.

      • STTBM

        Dude, I would choke if they traded Pocic. He’s looked much improved, and the only thing you can count on with Iupati is he’ll miss games with an injury when you need him most.

  16. Trevor

    Rob I remember months ago way before anyone even considered the idea you were discussing the possibility and logic behind the Hawks trading for Clowney.

    At the time I admit I thought it was a great idea but a pipe dream with almost zero chance of happening. I thought there was no way the Texan would let him walk.

    Now it looks more and more like this might actually happen. Wow

    • Rob Staton

      Huge news today.

      Will be interesting to see what the comp is.

      • Trevor

        Props to you for being on this one long before anyone even really considered it.

  17. WALL UP

    What an offseason! It all started with (4) draft picks….

  18. Coleslaw

    The Clowney prediction is some of your best work, Rob. You are the Oracle!

    Side note- Don’t be surprised if we give up a starter and a “high” pick.

  19. WALL UP

    JS GM of the year?? No contest…

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