In the event that Jadeveon Clowney spurns the proposal from the Cleveland Browns to sign with the Tennessee Titans, there is a great chance that defensive tackle DaQuan Jones could be available, all 6-foot-4 and 322 pounds of him.
Just to underscore what has been said the past week, there is a report from Adam Schefter that the Browns were the highest bidder for Clowney so far, but they did not agree to a deal. Speculation is that someone in Clowney’s camp may not favor Cleveland, but at this point, it is simply speculation. We know for sure that it has not happened yet, but it is not clear that it can never happen. It’s still very possible that the Browns may eventually close this deal.
But there is also a rumor that Clowney may be willing to accept much less money to play for the Tennessee Titans instead of the Browns. If that happens, the Browns may be able to score a deal on a professional defensive tackle in Jones. For what it is worth, he was graded as the 30th best interior defender by Pro Football Focus, four spots lower than Sheldon Richardson of the Browns.
Here is how the logic goes — Tennessee is strapped for cap space to afford Clowney, because, among other things, they just emptied the piggy bank for Ryan Tannehill this off-season, signing him for a cap charge of $22.5 million. That is one of the main reasons why the Browns were able to sign Austin Hooper away from them. The Titans roster is so bloated with guaranteed contracts that there are only three players that the Titans can cut that could increase cap space by $2 million or more.
That’s all they have available, according to overthecap.com. All three of these players are starters — players that they prefer to keep on the team, but there are no other higher-salaried players on the Tennessee roster who could be cut to generate more cap space.
Another way out of the Titans dilemma would be to restructure some of their major contracts to shift more money to future years and less in 2020. But if they do that, it becomes problematic whether they could afford Clowney for more than one year especially because the 2021 salary cap allowance is expected to contract rather than expand as it usually has done.