Patriots Linked to Free Agent and Former No. 1 Pick

The New England Patriots have more cap space now, and this financial boost gives them a chance to sign at least one talented free agent. Former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney didn’t get a deal this offseason, and many have linked him to the New England Patriots.

The same happened to Cam Newton. A lot of people talked about his connection with the Patriots, but his signing still surprised everyone. Will Clowney go through the same procedure?

The Patriots collected money from grievance settlements with Antonio Brown and Aaron Hernandez. New England has just under $7.8 million of cap space.

Evan Lazar from CLNS is really impressed with the idea of seeing Clowney sign with New England in free agency. The Patriots have enough room to add him, and his talent will be of great help for the Patriots.

Coach Belichick may sign the free agent

According to Lazar, there are many similarities between Clowney and Newton.

“Before you tell me to stop dreaming, hear me out. According to some reports, Clowney is looking for a top-of-market deal worth close to $18 million. But he is still unsigned and is starting to give off Cam Newton vibes as someone that might need a “prove it” year to reset his value. Last season, Clowney only managed three sacks in Seattle, a sticking point for many teams in negotiations, and hasn’t developed into the pass rusher that evaluators expected. According to Pro Football Focus, he has never topped 64 quarterback pressures in a season, and the highest pass-rush grade of his career was 79.7. Still, Clowney’s versatility and stout run defender are perfect fits in Belichick’s scheme.

“He can line up anywhere on the line of scrimmage, set the edge, and generate pressure at a high rate on stunts and other schemed pressures. Clowney played in a similar system under Romeo Crennel in Houston, and always gave the Pats problems. If they can get him on an incentive-laden deal a la Newton, giving Clowney to Belichick would be unfair to the rest of the league.”

Tyler Sullivan from CBS Sports discussed Clowney’s next deal, and his potential arrival in New England.

Clowney is 27 and he is about to enter the primetime of his career. The Houston Texans have selected him with the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Clowney had two seasons with nine or more sacks. He had three sacks in 13 games playing in the Seattle defense.

If Clowney joins Belichick and his team, he will have to play his best football. The Patriots may give him a small deal and the offer a thick contract ahead of the 2021 season.