Arizona Cardinals pass rush could use a player like Jadeveon Clowney
By Jim Koch
The three-time Pro Bowler could be the edge-rushing threat that is missing from the Arizona Cardinals defensive unit .
Since the NFL's free-agent signing period got underway back in March, the Arizona Cardinals have gone out of their way to acquire unheralded players. While the team's fans were hoping for recognizable additions, general manager Monti Ossenfort has steered clear of household names. It would be nice if the front office could veer from that questionable plan for once, and bring in a veteran who Cards followers could get excited about.
Fortunately for Arizona, there are still a handful of worthwhile free agents who are still searching for work. Tenth-year professional Jadeveon Clowney is available, and can provide the pressure from the edge that the Redbirds defense so desperately needs. Could the former first-overall selection of the 2014 draft be on Ossenfort's wish list?
Actually, bringing in a difference-maker like Clowney should be a no-brainer for the Cardinals braintrust. The squad's top two sack leaders from a year ago, J.J. Watt and Zach Allen, are no longer around. In his 109 pro appearances (98 starts), Clowney has racked up 43 sacks in stints with the Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, and Cleveland Browns.
From 2016-18, Clowney created havoc for the Texans club that drafted him. The 6 foot 5, 255 pounder registered 158 tackles, 24.5 sacks and 59 quarterback hits during that three-year time period. Pro Bowl invitations were waiting for Clowney at the conclusion of each of those productive campaigns.
Jadeveon Clowney would bring instant credibility to the Arizona Cardinals defensive unit
After failing to agree to terms on a long-term contract with Clowney back in 2019, Houston ended up trading the franchise-tagged free agent to Seattle. In the 13 games he dressed for (11 starts) that season, the former University of South Carolina product totaled 31 tackles, three sacks and two defensive touchdowns (one versus Arizona) for the Seahawks.
Clowney spent the last two years with the Browns, but his association with that franchise seems to have ended on bad terms. Last January, head coach Kevin Stefanski sent the South Carolina native home from practice after he complained about his usage to the media. Clowney subsequently told Cleveland.com reporter Mary Kay Cabot that he was "ninety-five percent sure" that he wouldn't be back with the team in 2023.
At the present time, there isn't one bona fide pass-rusher on the "Big Red" roster. It doesn't appear that Clowney will be re-signing with the Browns, so the door is open for Ossenfort to make a move. You can bet that Cards defensive coordinator Nick Rallis would be more than grateful if a top-notch defender like Clowney was added to his unit.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)