This one is juicy.
The 49ers have reportedly “recently expressed interest in (signing) free agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney,” according to thepick6.com, citing a source. This report also said “nothing is imminent” and the 49ers just “tested the water.”
I have no idea who thepick6.com is, or if this report is legitimate. But I freaking love the idea of the 49ers signing Clowney. I tweeted in February that the 49ers should sign DeForest Buckner, let Arik Armstead leave and sign Clowney. Instead, they let Buckner leave and signed Armstead, which is cheaper than Buckner, so theoretically the ̵
Here’s why the 49ers should seriously consider signing him, and could potentially sign him before the season begins.
1. When motivated and healthy, Clowney is as good as any 49ers defensive lineman.
He was number 1 in the 2014 draft, and about once a month he shows why. Last season, when he played for the Seahawks, he almost single-handedly beat the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium – he was without a doubt the best player on the field for any of the teams. He was disruptive, he created a turnover and the 49ers simply could not block him.
But the second time the 49ers met the Seahawks, Clowney did nothing, which is what he did most last season, when he recorded just three sacks. So even though he can take over games, he only does so when motivated and healthy.
He should be both now.
The 49ers can theoretically keep Clowney motivated and healthy.
They can sign him to a one-year contract, which would keep him motivated, since he would be playing for a contract. And they can keep him healthy by using him in a rotation of pass rushes, so that they do not overwork him. The 49s have the deepest defensive line in the entire league.
Clowney does not always play well when he is injured – he tends to protect himself because he wants big money in a free agency, big money that he has not received yet. But the 49er can use him wisely, so he will be fresh and pain free when he is on the pitch.
So what does Clowney stand for?
He can play with elite passengers, increase his numbers, potentially win a Super Bowl and revive his market value.
The 49ers have room for salary capacity to sign Clowney.
They currently have more than $ 12.1 million in cap space, according to overthecap.com. And they can create another $ 4.8 million in cap space by cutting guard Tom Compton and running back Tevin Coleman, who are interchangeable.
That means the 49ers can offer Clowney a one-year deal worth nearly $ 17 million if they want. And they probably do not have to offer him that much. Maybe they can get him for much less.
The 49ers really do not want the Seahawks to sign Clowney.
The Seahawks just closed the gap between themselves and the 49ers in 2020 by shopping for All Pro safety Jamal Adams. If the Seahwks also sign Clowney, they can only win the NFC.
The Seahawks seem to believe that Clowney comes back to them with his tail between his legs and accepts all the lowball offer they have offered him. I’m sure the 49ers would love to swing in and steal Clowney away from the Seahawks just as the Seahawks may have stolen Adams away from the 49ers.
5. Clowney would make the 49ers pass rush the best in the NFL.
Clowney and Nick Bosa would be the first defensive ends, newcomer Javon Kinlaw would play nose tackle and Arik Armstead would move over to DeForest Buckner’s old position – three-point defensive tackle. And in case of pass-rushing falls, Kinlaw would go to the bench, Dee Ford would replace him on the field and the 49ers could use a defensive tackle and three defensive ends, as Ford, Bosa and Clowney all have experience rushing from within.
Armstead, Ford, Bosa and Clowney would be the best four-man pass rush in the NFL. And Clowney would not affect the 49ers’ cap space in the long run – he would be a year’s lease.
Sign the guy. Win the freaking Super Bowl next season. Go in.