The NFL's free agency period is set to begin on Wednesday, March 16 and veteran defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is one of the names that fans should watch. Clowney could see quite a bit of attention next week following a solid 2021 NFL season. He recorded 37 tackles, 9.0 sacks, 19 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles in 14 games, looking more like his old self.
Here are the three most likely 2022 NFL free-agent destinations for Clowney.
Jadeveon Clowney Free Agency
1. Cleveland Browns
Although Clowney is free to explore his options, that isn't to say a return to the Browns is off the table. After all, it'd be in Cleveland's best interest to retain the former first-round pick. Aside from Myles Garrett, Clowney was the only other player on the team to record over 3.0 sacks last season. He also was second in QB hits and second in pressures (32), making it clear that his departure would be detrimental to the Browns' pass rush. Yes, the team failed to meet expectations last year, but a lot of that had to do with injuries. If management can convince Clowney that everyone will be healthy enough to make a deep playoff run, that might be enough to entice him to stay.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars began a new era last season, but it became clear by the end of the campaign that there's still a lot of work to do — especially on defense. The Jaguars could use some pass-rush help after tying with the Houston Texans for the fifth-fewest sacks (32.0) in 2021. With over $41.3 million (via Spotrac) to spend in free agency, it only makes sense for the Jaguars to pursue someone of Clowney's caliber. By signing him, Jacksonville can use the 2022 first overall pick on an offensive lineman like Alabama's Evan Neal, rather than using it on a pass-rusher. Even if they do use it on an EDGE player, a duo of Clowney and either Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchinson could be absolutely lethal next year. It's a win-win situation for all parties involved.
3. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts have more than $71.5 million to spend in free agency after trading Carson Wentz and are in dire need of pass-rush help. Although the Colts' defense was solid last year, they gave up the seventh-most passing yards per game while recording just 33.0 sacks (T-No. 25). If he played for them last season, Clowney's 32 pressures and 9.0 sacks would've led all Indianapolis players. The Colts were also interested in him last year, so it only makes sense that they would circle back around next week. It's a make-or-break season for head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard in 2022, which is why they need to ensure their job security by making a big play for the former All-Pro defender.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.