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Seahawks GM: Door not closed on Jadeveon Clowney, but could no longer wait

While the Seattle Seahawks have added Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa in free agency this offseason, questions about the potential of the team’s pass rush continue to linger as the team heads into the NFL Draft this week. The continued free agency of Jadeveon Clowney lingers as well as one of the team’s most disruptive linemen remains on the open market.

Only one team in the NFL had fewer sacks than the Seattle Seahawks last season. Clowney remains one of the top unsigned free agents available on the market. But while Clowney continues to evaluate his options, the Seahawks decided they couldn’t wait on him to make a decision before looking to other options for their defensive line.

“He came in and did a great job for us,” Seahawks General Manager John Schneider said of Clowney on Tuesday. “We made an effort to re-sign him. The door is not closed, but we couldn’t wait any longer and so we had to conduct business. He knew that. Everything was very cordial.

“We’ve had great conversations. He’s just going to feel his way through this odd process and we’ll see where that goes.”

While Seattle reached an agreement with Irvin early in free agency, they waited until over two weeks into free agency before getting a deal done with Mayowa. As Clowney continued to go unsigned, it was Mayowa that Seattle turned to help add depth to their pass rush unit.

“We were able to acquire Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa, two individuals that we’re very comfortable with (and) confident in,” Schneider said. I think they bring 16 sacks (15.5 sacks). So, yeah, we’re excited about having those guys back.”

Even with Clowney, the Seahawks managed just 28 sacks as a team the entire season. Only the 23 sacks from the Miami Dolphins was less at year’s end. Clowney missed time due to a sports hernia and finished with just three sacks. Jarran Reed was suspended for six games and mustered just two sacks. Coming off shoulder surgery, Ziggy Ansah managed just 2.5 sacks and first-round pick L.J. Collier was regularly inactive throughout the season as a bad ankle injury in training camp derailed his rookie campaign.

“You know L.J. will have a year under his belt and hopefully we can keep him healthy,” Schneider said. “He got hurt last year and we thought we’re going to lose him for the whole season that day he went down and and it was very disappointing but we’re able to get him back at a certain time in the season where it just wasn’t ideal from a developmental standpoint.”

With Clowney remaining on the market, the Seahawks could easily look for more help in the NFL Draft this week.

“Pass rush is always something we’re focused on, obviously we need to do a better job in that regard. And that’s from an acquisition standpoint, from a developmental standpoint and from a schematic standpoint,” Schneider said.