Jadeveon Clowney, Ravens

Getty Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney reacting on the sideline of an NFL game.

Leonard Floyd used his career-best season with the Buffalo Bills to score a big new contract in free agency, leaving Bills general manager Brandon Beane with a hole to fill on the edge.

At age 31, Floyd tied a career high with 10.5 sacks in 2023 while adding one pass defended, a forced fumble and 19 quarterback hits. He used the season as a catapult into free agency, landing a $20-million contract from the San Francisco 49ers.

In a story suggesting potential targets for the Bills in free agency, Katherine Fitzgerald of the Buffalo News noted that three-time Pro Bowler Jadeveon Clowney could be a target for the Bills to round out their edge rushing group. Fitzgerald noted that the Bills relieved some pressure to find a pass rusher by signing veteran Casey Toohill this week, but could still consider Clowney a potential target to fill some of the void left with Floyd’s departure.

Former No. 1 Pick Looking for New Home

After a strong season with the Baltimore Ravens where he registered 9.5 sacks and 19 quarterback hits, Clowney is a free agent in search of a new home. As ESPN’s Bill Barnwell noted, a history of injuries may have depressed the market for the former No. 1 overall pick.

Barnwell noted that Clowney was a free agent until August last year, eventually landing with the Ravens on a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.

“A significant injury history and inconsistent play have kept Clowney from landing multiyear deals,” Barnwell wrote. “After the 2014 No. 1 pick played out his rookie deal and fifth-year option with the Texans, Bill O’Brien franchised-tagged him before trading him to the Seahawks. Clowney has played out one-year deals with the Seahawks, Titans and Browns, where a productive 2021 season didn’t produce the same effects after he inked another single-season pact in 2022.”

Beane had already warned that the Bills would not be in the market for any blockbuster moves in free agency given their salary cap constraints, but Clowney could be a more attainable target if he should fall into the same general salary range as last season.

Bills Would Have Tight Competition

The Bills have done some work to address their pass rush this offseason, signing the veteran Toohill and bringing back A.J. Epenesa on a new contract after a breakout season.

If they want to add Clowney to the group, the Bills might have to beat some tight competition. Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz reported that Clowney has been in close contact with the New York Jets after a visit this week, calling the team “highly motivated” to sign him.

Following Jadeveon Clowney’s visit with the #Jets, he and the organization have remained in constant contact, with one source describing New York as “highly motivated” to try and secure a deal with Clowney.

I’m told both the #Panthers and #Ravens remain interested in him as…

Barnwell also named the Miami Dolphins as a top fit for Clowney, noting that Dolphins defensive coordinator was Clowney’s defensive line coach with the Ravens last season.

But the Bills could have other targets, including another accomplished veteran. Fitzgerald of the Buffalo News noted that Calais Campbell is still on the open market and could be a good presence in the locker room in Buffalo.

“Calais Campbell (Atlanta) is a veteran with 16 years of experience,” Fitzgerald wrote. “In that time, he’s played in 244 games, piling up 105.5 sacks. He hasn’t said he’s done yet. The 2024 Alan Page Community Award winner, Campbell is a leader on and off the field.”

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