A Storm is Brewing in Houston
In Houston, Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney filed a grievance against the team over his franchise tag after not being able to get a deal done before the Monday deadline for players under franchise tag to sign contract extensions.
The crux of the issue seems to be the fact the Texans front office, which currently doesn’t have a general manager, tried tagging him as a linebacker instead of as a defensive end. The resulting discrepancy could result in a loss of nearly 2 million dollars for the former South Carolina product.
Should things get ugly between the two sides, Clowney could request to be traded or hold out from the Texans until he hits free agency 2020.
So, why on earth would a story surrounding a disgruntled defensive end from the Texans make its way on to Old North Banter? Because the Panthers and their fans should be paying attention to the situation and could get a talented defensive player still in his prime if the relationship sours further.
What Clowney Could Bring to Carolina
The first thing that Clowney brings to the defense is versatility. He’s capable of playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and is also capable of getting his hand in the dirt in a 4-3 scheme.
Beyond that, Clowney has been durable and relatively injury-free. Outside of his rookie year where he only played 4 games. He has played in 58 games through four seasons, including starting 44 of his last 45 games he’s played.
Clowney has also been a Pro Bowl-caliber player for the Texans, making the game each of the last three seasons. Clowney also knows what to do when he’s the recipient of forced turnovers, as he is tied (all be it with a bunch of other players) for second among active players in fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns with two.
Why The Panthers Should Pay Attention.
Think of this dream scenario: The team already has Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy on the interior and Mario Addison on end for the defense. Luke Kuechly will be manning the defense at the second level and Donte Jackson and James Bradberry have formed the one-two punch the panthers have been looking for on the outside in the secondary.
Now, how much better do you feel about adding Clowney to play both defensive end and linebacker like rookie edge rusher Brian Burns from Florida State? Does that sound enticing?
It sure sounds amazing to us, and if the Panthers were to surprise everyone and make a move acquire Clowney, it could potentially make the defense reach legendary heights similar to the way the Broncos defense in 2015 or the Seahawks defense from 2012-2016.
The Panthers could get Addison, who is 31 years old, to restructure his contract and that could pave the way to add Clowney to the roster through trades of picks and maybe players, such as Kyle Love, since the likelihood he starts now that McCoy will join Poe is small.
The Panthers should watch this situation with eagle eyes, and be ready to pounce should Clowney become available, as it could set them over the top in a division that has both Matt Ryan and Drew Brees in it.