Throughout last week's draft, Seahawks general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll were frequently pressed about the status of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who remains unsigned heading towards May.
With multiple reports surfacing over the past few weeks suggesting the Seahawks had bowed out of the Clowney sweepstakes, Carroll and Schneider wouldn't rule out the possibility of him returning.
“Just staying in touch with him, he’s kind of patient with the time frames that are out there and all that,” Carroll said following the draft. “But he knows that the Seahawks are a place that he had some success, and that he had a really good time and he contributed to our club and all of that. That’s a pretty good feeling for him being out there still. John will take care of it. If there’s an opportunity that makes sense, we’ll dive back in and pursue it.”
But using two draft picks on pass rushers while also signing veterans Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa indicates Seattle has moved on. If fans were seeking another reason to doubt Clowney comes back to the Pacific Northwest, it may revolve around a different type of number game.
After changing to No. 91 last year while receiving ample compensation from Clowney, Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed announced via Twitter he will be switching back to his original No. 90 next season.
While this may not seem like a big deal, the fact Seattle is allowing Reed to take back his former number seems like icing on the cake when it comes to Clowney's inevitable departure. He's clearly not in the team's plans - at least for now - and second-round pick Darrell Taylor will likely take No. 91, further mucking up the numbers game.
Seeking north of $20 million heading into free agency, Clowney didn't receive any offers close to those demands, leaving him and the Seahawks in a holding pattern. After the two sides couldn't strike a deal, Schneider made it clear the organization couldn't wait any longer and had to get other stuff done building the roster for next season.
“We made an effort to re-sign him," Schneider commented. "Still, the door’s not closed, but we couldn’t wait any longer. We had to conduct business. He knew that.”
With Clowney stalling in the decision making process, Seattle moved forward signing Irvin and Mayowa to one-year deals. Then in the draft, they traded up to snag Taylor and used a fifth-round selection on Syracuse defensive end Alton Robinson, adding invaluable depth to the pass rush.
Could Clowney ultimately return and get his number back? It certainly cannot be ruled out. Like last year, Reed could be open to negotiating - for a steep price - to make it happen if Clowney decides to re-sign down the road with no other better alternatives.
But as has been the case for weeks, there hasn't been any meaningful discussions between the Seahawks and Clowney in an effort to bring him back for 2020. As unimportant as it may sound, Reed's latest revelation is just another indicator he won't be on the roster.