Sea­hawks close to land­ing Clowney

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Numbers Game - By TIM BOOTH

REN­TON, Wash. — The Seat­tle Sea­hawks are on the verge of ac­quir­ing stand­out pass rusher Jade­veon Clowney from the Houston Tex­ans, two peo­ple with knowl­edge of the deal said Satur­day. Such a move would bol­ster one of Seat­tle’s big­gest needs head­ing into the sea­son.

The peo­ple spoke to The Associated Press on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the trade on NFL cut­down day is still pend­ing a phys­i­cal and had not been com­pleted. Seat­tle re­port­edly is send­ing a thir­dround pick and two play­ers to Houston.

Clowney held out from train­ing camp with the Tex­ans. The out­side linebacker was un­happy about Houston us­ing the fran­chise tag on him and no progress on a longterm con­tract. The Sea­hawks would have Clowney for the up­com­ing sea­son at a cost of about $16 mil­lion. But Seat­tle has the salary cap space and a huge need on its de­fen­sive line.

The 26-year-old Clowney is a three-time Pro Bowl se­lec­tion. He had nine sacks in 15 games last sea­son. He had a ca­reer-high 9 ½ sacks two years ago when he played a full NFL sea­son for the only time. His speed com­ing off the edge could cre­ate all man­ner of trou­ble for op­pos­ing of­fen­sive tack­les.

This is sec­ond time Seat­tle has made a trade at the end of train­ing camp to ac­quire an elite pass rusher. Two years ago, Seat­tle landed Shel­don Richardson from the New York Jets for a sec­ond-round pick and wide re­ceiver Jer­maine Kearse.

Pass rush has been one of Seat­tle’s pri­mary con­cerns dur­ing the off­sea­son af­ter trad­ing Frank Clark to Kansas City be­fore the April draft. The Sea­hawks signed Ziggy An­sah in free agency, but he’s been side­lined through­out train­ing camp re­cov­ery from shoul­der surgery and re­turned to lim­ited work in prac­tice only last week.

Seat­tle will also play the first six games with­out sus­pended de­fen­sive tackle Jar­ran Reed. Reed had a ca­reer-high 10 1/2 sacks last sea­son.

Seat­tle is re­port­edly send­ing a 2020 third-round pick along with vet­eran for­mer first-rounder Barke­vi­ous Mingo and sec­ond-year pass rusher Ja­cob Martin back to the Tex­ans. Mingo was moved to de­fen­sive end dur­ing the off­sea­son af­ter spend­ing the past few sea­sons play­ing out­side linebacker. Martin, a six­thround pick in 2018, showed flashes of po­ten­tial in his rookie sea­son but had just three sacks and was go­ing to be a sit­u­a­tional pass rusher this sea­son.

What Seat­tle saw dur­ing the pre­sea­son from its other po­ten­tial de­fen­sive ends didn’t in­still suf­fi­cient con­fi­dence that the loss of Clark could be filled in­ter­nally. Martin and vet­eran Cas­sius Marsh showed flashes, but not the con­sis­tency Seat­tle sought. Sea­hawks down to 1 QB af­ter cut­ting Geno Smith, Pax­ton Lynch; Shead also re­leased

REN­TON, Wash. — The Seat­tle Sea­hawks set their 53man ros­ter on Satur­day with­out a backup quar­ter­back to Rus­sell Wil­son af­ter re­leas­ing both Geno Smith and Pax­ton Lynch to reach the league limit.

It was a sur­pris­ing de­ci­sion af­ter it ap­peared Smith had won the backup job dur­ing train­ing camp, capped with a strong per­for­mance in the fi­nal pre­sea­son game against Oak­land. But Seat­tle clearly wanted to see what else be­came avail­able as other teams made their cuts.

Seat­tle has been very ac­tive in pre­vi­ous years mak­ing moves af­ter cuts were an­nounced and this year is likely to be no dif­fer­ent, in­clud­ing fi­nal­iz­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of Jade­veon Clowney from the Houston Tex­ans.

Among the other notables re­leased were vet­eran wide re­ceiver Jaron Brown, tight end Ja­cob Hol­lis­ter, de­fen­sive tackle Earl Mitchell and de­fen­sive back De­Shawn Shead.

Brown was in line to be a starter op­po­site Tyler Lockett and his re­lease leaves Seat­tle very thin at wide re­ceiver. David Moore is not ex­pected to play in the opener be­cause of an arm in­jury and there is un­cer­tainty about DK Metcalf’s avail­abil­ity for Week 1 fol­low­ing mi­nor knee surgery.

But Seat­tle did keep rookie wide re­ceivers Gary Jen­nings and John Ur­sua and both could have prom­i­nent roles right away.

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