It took until Sept. 5, but the Tennessee Titans finally made an offseason splash move, signing free-agent linebacker Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year contract, according to reports from ESPN’s Dianna Russini and Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com.
Jadeveon Clowney is expected to sign with the Tennessee Titans sources tell ESPN. He rejoins Mike Vrabel who was on the Texans defensive staff for Clowney’s first 3 years in the league in Houston. The Saints, the other main suitor, made a very strong case. This was a close one.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) September 5, 2020
The deal has been a long time coming. Titans fans were pleading for the team to sign Clowney back in March. That was also when Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson began to be inundated with questions about the former Seahawks pass rusher.
Their answers were consistent: “we’re monitoring the situation.”
It’s a good thing they did because this was a deal that had to happen for the Titans.
For starters, the team traded beloved defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, a five-time Pro Bowler, to the Denver Broncos on March 19. While the move did clear salary-cap space, the trade itself only netted the Titans a seventh-round pick.
Until the Clowney signing, which has been reported to be a 1-year deal worth $12 million, the Titans hadn’t done anything with that cap space. It had just been sitting there for nearly seven months.
When you trade away a player of Casey’s caliber, even one who’s aging and on the decline as Casey is, you can’t just do nothing. It’s bad team management, and it actively makes teams worse.
It looked for a while like Robinson, who rarely makes mistakes, might have made one by dealing Casey. Now, it’s clear he didn’t.
Additionally, the Titans desperately needed an addition to their outside linebackers’ room.
They finally did something with the cap money saved in the Jurrell Casey trade…and it was a big something. https://t.co/tcsr33rXaQ
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) September 5, 2020
Aside from the fact that a lack of pass rush was the primary factor that led to the Titans’ exit from the 2019 postseason, the Titans were very thin at the position following the final roster cuts they made on Saturday.
Clowney joins a group that currently boasts Harold Landry, Kamalei Correa, Vic Beasley and Derick Roberson. The latter two of that list are mending injuries, so having Clowney will help ease the strain until they’re fully ready to go.
There are still plenty of questions left to be answered, such as how the Titans plan on utilizing Clowney in their defense, how long it will take him to learn the playbook and whether he will be ready to go for Week One.
As for now, though, Titans fans should be excited about this addition. Clowney isn’t a game wrecker, but he’s a talented player and could be an important ingredient for a Titans team that has the potential to be special in 2020.
Cover image: Will Mims/A to Z Sports Nashville