The Miami Dolphins have a lack of established pass rushers on their roster heading into the fourth week of the preseason. That could be getting ready to change if rumors turn out to be correct. Speculation seems to be ramping up that the Dolphins could be landing Houston Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney soon.
The Dolphins are not the only team considered in the hunt for Clowney, who has yet to sign his franchise tag. By signing the tag, Clowney has cleared the way for a trade to be made. The Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks are also believed to be in the mix.
Clowney was the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, joining the Texans. In five seasons, working as both a linebacker and a defensive end, he has played in 62 games, starting 55 times, recording 205 tackles, 29 sacks, 67 quarterback hits, 64 tackles for a loss, 4 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries with 2 touchdowns, and 11 passes defensed. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the last three seasons.
Matthew Cannata has been monitoring the Clowney trade talks for a while, and he agrees that the Dolphins are “making a STRONG play for” the veteran.
The reports on return for Clowney to the Texans include Adam Beasley from the Miami Herald stating, “The belief among highly credible league sources is the Texans want an offensive lineman or a wide receiver in return if they cannot get a premium pick.”
Coincidentally, on Tuesday, Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills did not practice. Miami is fairly deep at the receiver position, so a move to trade a receiver would make sense. Stills is probably the most attractive of the receivers, so speculation as to him being a part of a trade for Clowney makes sense.
Linebacker Kiko Alonso has also been linked to trade rumors.
The Herald’s Armando Salguero writes that the Dolphins “consider themselves leaders in the sweepstakes to trade for Houston defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.” A report from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport indicated Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has met with Clowney.
The move is not seen as completely smooth however.
Clowney is believed to prefer Seattle or Philadelphia, and there was a report from Houston radio host John Granato that Clowney would refuse to go to the Dolphins. He fired his agent over the handling of the trade possibilities, but if the Dolphins were to trade for him, they would have two franchise-tag years to try to convince the veteran to stay.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, Clowney’s meeting with Flores “went well,” and while he would prefer other teams, the Dolphins are “amenable to doing lucrative extension for unsigned franchise player.”
According to Salguero, part of the issue in a potential trade a few weeks ago between the Texans and Dolphins was Houston’s asking price, which included multiple draft picks. Since then, the two sides “have a more clear idea” of what would be needed, and “it does not include a first-rounder next year.”
Wilson added that the Dolphins are not willing to include offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil in any trade scenario.
Check back for more as this continues to unfold.