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Could Jadaveon Clowney’s price tag tumble into Giants’ range?

Even at a rate lower than he originally sought, Giants might not have the money to pursue Clowney

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Jadaveon Clowney
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The pass-rush needy New York Giants took a one-year flier on edge defender Kyler Fackrell to give them a potential upgrade there, but as of yet haven’t done anything substantial to directly improve that pass rush. More than likely at this point, they aren’t going to be able to in free agency or the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.

And yet ...

Jadaveon Clowney, the premier edge defender on the market when the free agency negotiating window began, is still on the market — and Clowney’s price tag might be coming down.

Clowney was originally thought to be seeking a contract in the range of $22 million or more annually. NFL Network said Wednesday, though, that with the signing period approaching Clowney “hasn’t found the market he expected.”

If Clowney’s price tag comes down, say to the $17-18 million per year range, could the Giants be a serious suitor? mentions only three teams as legitimate landing spots for Clowney. Those are the Seattle Seahawks, where he played a season ago, Indianapolis Colts, and the Giants.

Clowney had only three sacks a season ago while battling injury and missing three games. In six NFL seasons, the former No. 1 overall pick has played in 16 games only one time.

Can the Giants afford Clowney?

Even at a reduced price, the answer might be no.

Ralph Vacchiano has already posted the estimated cap hits from the signings the Giants have already made, and done the math. That means I don’t have to, which is good because there’s a reason I went into sports writing. Anyway, here are Vacchiano’s permutations:

Now, let’s drop some truth here. Figuring out exactly how much cap room the Giants have isn’t happening. Over The Cap gives you one number as a starting total for the Giants and Spotrac gives you a slightly different one. So, what they have spent and what they have left depends on who you believe and how you calculate it.

Still, remember what GM Dave Gettleman said about trying to keep $20 million set aside? Well, that’s already out the window. The Giants need slightly more than $12 million for their rookie class, and right now it’s questionable that they even have that.

The Giants are reportedly moving on from safety Antoine Bethea, saving $2.75 million in cap space, but they still don’t have a lot of room to maneuver.

It looks, though, like the Giants might have to tap out when it comes to hunting for any other big-ticket purchases.

So, don’t hold your breath on Clowney.