Michael Nania wields the power of data to explain why a Jadeveon Clowney mega-deal would not make sense for the New York Jets.
Jadeveon Clowney has long been touted as the crown jewel of the 2020 NFL free agency class. Now, we are finally just a few days away from the former No. 1 overall pick receiving a deal that will most likely come close to being the largest for a defensive player in league history.
Clowney-to-the-Jets buzz has been scarce—and that is a good thing. While the Jets have a more gaping hole on the edge than perhaps any other team in football, Clowney’s skill-set does not match the needs of this particular roster.
The reason that Joe Douglas would be doing the right thing by staying out of the Clowney sweepstakes? It’s quite simple.
Clowney is spectacular against the run, but he is only a decent pass-rusher. That is the polar opposite of what the Jets should be looking for.
The Jets are more than fine in the run game, having ranked second-best in rush defense DVOA this past season. Their edge group played a large part in that success. Kyle Phillips and Tarell Basham, both under contract for 2020, are reliable run defenders.
Across the rest of the defense, New York is stacked with players who are above-average against the run. All of the players listed below are under contract for 2020.