Raiders Might Be Getting Closer to Adding Jadaveon Clowney

Even before the Chiefs extended Patrick Mahomes’ contract until the year 2032 and bumped up his pay to $500 million, the next decade for the Raiders was always about finding a way to beat the Chiefs and their all-world quarterback.

Monday’s announcement of Mahomes’ new deal served only as a reminder that in order to finish on top of the AFC West, the Raiders need to slow down a quarterback on pace to be considered the best of all time.

No small task, right?

Since trading Khalil Mack, Jon Gruden has been aggressive in his efforts to build a dominant defensive line and it should become even more of a priority now that Mahomes is contractually tied to the AFC West even longer than Gruden. The Raiders already have one of the league’s best young pass rushers in Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell should be anxious to prove his value as the fourth-overall pick of the 2019 draft. Carl Nassib was also added to the mix in the offseason to bolster the pass rush.

So there is reason for optimism along the Raiders’ defensive line.

But considering the daunting task of slowing down Mahomes, should the Raiders be content with their current cast of pass rushers? After all, it was the late great Al Davis who said “the quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard” and you can never have too many pass rushers.

As of Monday night, the Raiders were reportedly sitting tight on the third-best contract offer for former first-overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, but that was before the Browns restructured Olivier Vernon and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes that Cleveland is an “unlikely” landing spot for Clowney as of Tuesday morning.

The Browns were believed to have offered Clowney his most lucrative contract as of yesterday and that means the Raiders might be inching closer to being a favorite to land Clowney. The Seahawks, who Clowney played for last year, are the other team thought to have an offer in on Clowney and that should be at least a slight indication that he can still play at high level.

For the Raiders, the decision to go after Clowney should be a no-brainer. He isn’t limited to playing outside on passing downs and the Raiders have struggled to find an inside pass rush on third downs.

With Mahomes officially a fixture in the AFC West, the Raiders have no choice but to go all-in on defense. Gruden’s offense has all the tools to score 30+ points per game. Now it’s time for Gruden and the gang to double down on the defensive side of the ball and find a way to make every AFC West quarterback go down… and go down hard.

twitter: @raidersbeat