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Seahawks Acquire Jadeveon Clowney From the Texans

The Seattle Seahawks bolstered one of the N.F.L.’s fiercest defensive fronts over the weekend by acquiring the Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans.

It was a coup for the Seahawks, who, without trading any of their core players, added an elite disruptive force to a unit already featuring the four-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, the pass-rushing end Ziggy Ansah and defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who had 10½ sacks last season.

For Houston, the trade, which was announced Sunday by Seattle, was the first in a blizzard of moves made over the weekend as the Texans attempt to improve without a traditional executive structure.

The @Seahawks have acquired @clownejd from the Houston Texans. #GoHawks

— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) September 1, 2019

Operating without a general manager since Brian Gaine was fired in June, the Texans, a few hours after agreeing to trade Clowney, reportedly agreed to ship a staggering package of players and high draft picks — two first-rounders and a second — to the rebuilding Dolphins for receiver Kenny Stills and left tackle Laremy Tunsil, whom Houston now must extend to make the deal worth its while.

For Clowney, they received only a modest return — linebackers Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin, plus a third-round pick in 2020 — in a trade that marked the culmination of a deep dispute over his value. Houston was uninterested in signing Clowney, 26, to a long-term contract before the July 15 deadline for teams to sign franchise players to multiyear deals.

Clowney had yet to report to Texans training camp, and by refusing to sign his $15.697 million franchise tender — until doing so, he couldn’t be traded — he held significant leverage in controlling his next destination. He reportedly refused a deal to play for Miami, but from the outset, Seattle seemed a logical fit. The Seahawks, after trading Frank Clark to Kansas City and losing Reed to a six-game suspension, signed Ansah in May but were still searching for a bookend on the edge. Clowney signed his one-year tender before the trade, but the Seahawks cannot try to extend his contract until after the season. Even if they do not extend Clowney and he departs, the Seahawks stand to recoup a third-rounder as a compensatory pick.

In the meantime, the Seahawks receive in Clowney, the No. 1 over all pick in 2014, a defender who is capable of both tormenting quarterbacks and stifling the run. Bothered by knee problems his first two seasons, Clowney rebounded to record 24½ sacks since 2016, including nine last year, when he was selected to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. His 53 tackles for loss across the last three seasons rank third in the league over that span to Aaron Donald (57) and Chandler Jones (56), according to Pro Football Reference.


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