Chris Clemons struggled last year on 585 snaps, but that was because he was coming off of a torn ACL suffered in January. That, combined with his age (going into his age 33 season), his salary, and the presence of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in Seattle, got him cut. However, he was Pro Football Focus’ 4th, 10th, and 11th ranked 4-3 defensive end in 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively. When healthy, he can really play and he’ll be a great fit in Jacksonville, where he reunites with Gus Bradley, Jacksonville’s current head coach and the defensive coordinator in Seattle during those 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons.
There are three concerns with this deal. One is obviously Clemons’ age, as he goes into his age 33 season. Two is obviously the torn ACL he suffered last January. He’ll be about 20 months removed from that by week 1 of the 2014 season, but there’s a chance that, combined with his age, he’s never close to the same player again. Fortunately, there is just 5.475 million guaranteed on this deal so it could be just a 1-year, 5.475 million dollar deal if it doesn’t work out (the max value is 17.5 million over 4 years, with 4.5 million available through incentives).
The third concern goes back to the age. The Jaguars have signed 3 defensive ends this off-season (Clemons, Jason Babin, and Red Bryant) who are all over 30 this off-season. Like the Raiders, they’re a bad team with a ton of cap space and, like the Raiders, I don’t really understand the direction they’re going. It’s still a strong deal though. If I had to guess, Clemons has an obvious average season this year for the Jaguars and the money is right.