Jadeveon Clowney signing thins out edge market even more for Chiefs

Jadeveon Clowney. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Jadeveon Clowney. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

The free-agent market is thinner than before with the signing of Jadeveon Clowney by the Cleveland Browns over the weekend.

On Sunday, the National Football League crossed another defensive end off of the list of players available. This time, it was the biggest name left standing as the Cleveland Browns decided to come up with a one-year, $11 million agreement for Clowney to return to FirstEnergy Stadium.

In the shadow of the signing, at this stage, the ranks of free agent edge rushers are looking very, very thin, and a team like the Kansas City Chiefs might not even be interested in shopping anymore given the way things look.

The Chiefs have never made any public overtures toward Clowney in any form—no statements, no rumors, no whiff of interest—so it’s not surprising that K.C. wasn’t involved in a move for the former first overall draft pick. It’s just that Clowney was, by a pretty big distance, the best overall edge rusher remaining on the open market in terms of proven production, youth, and durability. And now that option is gone.

Clowney’s signing comes shortly after Melvin Ingram signed with the Miami Dolphins, a move that stunned Chiefs Kingdom. Ingram was often connected in rumors back to K.C. after the franchise traded for him last November, but this will be the second spurning of the Chiefs by Ingram on the open market. It left Chiefs fans wondering where they could turn next.

If general manager Brett Veach is still shopping for a veteran at some point, there are a few options—namely Carlos Dunlap and perhaps Jason Pierre-Paul. However, Clowney’s signing removes any real ceiling here. Given the age and previous production of anyone available now, any signing would be more about security and depth than anything else.

At this stage, the Chiefs are leaning heavily on a veteran with durability concerns in Frank Clark and a first-round pick who has never played an NFL snap. Things might work out, but the market is thin and so is the list of Chiefs’ proven options.

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