Now, Anderson’s report itself should be taken with a grain of salt.
Armed with a projected $86.2 million of cap space, the Colts are expected to be linked to a lot of free agents this time of year because agents will throw their name out as a potential suitor as a way to generate buzz for their clients and drive up the market price with made up competition.
That being said, general manager Chris Ballard recently stated at the NFL Combine this week that he believes the Colts “are ready for a big name free agent”—meaning this one might not be so far-fetched after all.
Originally the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, the 6’5”, 255 Clowney is a familiar face to the Colts—having seemingly terrorized them off the edge during his first five seasons in the AFC South twice a year.
Having been traded to the Seattle Seahawks last offseason, the 27 year old edge rusher finished with 31 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 10 QB hits, 35 QB hurries, 4 forced fumbles, and an interception (for a touchdown) in 13 games (11 starts).
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription), Clowney was their 11th best edge defender in 2019 with a +87.3 grade overall—including a +79.1 pass rushing grade.
Known primarily for his pass rushing at South Carolina, Clowney has developed into a really good all-around defender—having shown stoutness setting the edge against the run.
Of course, the Colts could really use help in the pass rushing department, where they tied for the 15th most sacks (41) this past season—which is right around the league average.
It’s also a Colts defensive unit that outside of Darius Leonard, Kenny Moore, and Justin Houston really lacks star power—which the 3x Pro Bowler and 1x 2nd-Team All-Pro, Clowney, can theoretically provide much more of.
He’d be an immediate upgrade to the Colts defensive line and should still have several highly productive seasons left.
It’ll be interesting to see whether this report actually comes true—and if the Colts are seriously interested in pursuing Clowney—who assuredly won’t come cheap and will be paid as one of the highest paid edge defenders in the entire league.
The fit is logical for both sides though.