As Jadeveon Clowney continues to take his time sifting through offers and deciding his football future, the Seahawks are being proactive looking into backup alternatives in case he departs.
Per sources, Seattle currently views former Minnesota Pro Bowler Everson Griffen as the team's primary fallback option if Clowney refuses to lower his financial demands. The 32-year old defensive end opted out of the final three years of his contract in February and is "exploring" the market.
Even if Clowney re-signs, the Seahawks may remain in the mix for Griffen, though several moves would need to be made to open up necessary cap space to sign both players.
Regardless of whether or not the team finds a way to retain Clowney, who hasn't had the market he hoped for, Seattle has reached out to several other veteran pass rushers to form a contingency plan. Among those options, one credible source indicated the Seahawks have interest in Benson Mayowa and Jabaal Sheard.
Mayowa signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of Idaho in 2013, making the final roster and appearing in two games before being inactive the rest of his rookie season. With tons of depth in front of him, he was released in August 2014 and quickly was claimed off waivers by the Raiders.
Now with seven NFL seasons under his belt with four teams, including two stints with the Raiders, Mayowa has been a bit of a late bloomer. The 28-year old defensive end produced a career-high 7.0 sacks and three forced fumbles for Oakland in a reserve role last season.
As for Sheard, who will turn 31 in May, the 10th-year veteran had a down season by his standards for the Colts in 2019. He finished with nine quarterback hits and 4.5 sacks, posting his lowest numbers in both categories since 2014.
However, the 263-pound Sheard has been a consistent rusher and run defender throughout his career and he's been durable. In 134 career games, he's produced 387 tackles, 51.5 sacks, 71 tackles for loss, and 13 forced fumbles.
With the market for pass rushers thinned out substantially just two days into free agency, the Seahawks have limited options if Clowney departs and Griffen isn't signed. After signing Bruce Irvin on Wednesday, they still need to add a quality player or two, which opens up the possibility of re-investigating a trade for Yannick Ngakoue or Matt Judon.
But considering what it would cost to acquire either one of those star players, the Seahawks must remain diligent communicating with other serviceable, affordable veterans like Mayowa and Sheard in case they must execute Plan B or even Plan C trying to shore up their defense.