Clowney Wishes For Cowboys? He'll Need To 'Wish' Cheaper

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - At the March opening of NFL free agency, I asked a Dallas Cowboys source about the team's interest level in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. My question came shortly after the former No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft all-but-announced his desire to "break the bank'' - meaning a desire to make $20 million a year.

"No,'' I was told. 

And then a pause.

"Unless the price comes way down.''

Clowney has worked through an injury situation while tossing out trial balloons (or made-up stories by writers; it's hard to tell which is which) that have attached him to the Seahawks (where he enjoyed playing last year), the Giants, the Ravens, the Titans, the Eagles, the Giants and the Browns. And more, we suppose.

It is our understanding that the Seahawks made him an early-on offer to remain in Seattle - something in the range of $15 million for one year. He turned it down ... causing the Seahawks to turn the page and spend their pass-rush money elsewhere.

It is also our understanding that Clowney was offered a one-year deal in Cleveland that exceeded the Seattle offer. Amid rumors that that offer was $18 million, he also turned that down.

Now along comes a report from Tony Pauline from a site called "Pro Football Network'' that alleges that Clowney has two targeted teams: The New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys.

But again, Clowney wants something more than just "the right team.'' He wants what he views as "the right money,'' too, and probably "the right length of contract.'' The Cowboys like to hoard pass-rushers, and while Clowney, 27, recorded just three sacks last year, he would be a talented add to a group of ends that presently includes DeMarcus Lawrence, Aldon Smith and Tyrone Crawford.

Some of the climate around Clowney has changed. Maybe that includes his possible desire to join the Cowboys. (Worth noting: In the last few weeks, Pauline has also wrote "breaking news'' connecting Clowney to the Jets and connecting Clowney to the Dolphins; at some point some of this feels like dart-throwing. Knowing what we know about Dallas' position here, we simply cannot dismiss the click-bait factor that might come with any stated desire and the report itself.) Dallas has continued to stay out of this sweepstakes. And it's not a "cap-room'' issue; it's a "value'' issue.

Clowney, who has stated on the record that he'd like to join a contender, has jumped from desiring $20 million a year to turning down $18 million for one year to turning down $14 million for one year to being in the middle of a rumor involved a Cowboys team that has literally said "no'' to paying him anywhere near that range.

I don't know what Dallas' magic number here would be. But we know Jadeveon Clowney's numbers. And while he might be thinking "Cowboys,'' Dallas' "unless the price comes way down'' position obviously doesn't mesh with Clowney's view of himself.

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