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Star DE Jadeveon Clowney reportedly close to signing with Titans; Ravens showed interest

Free agent Jadeveon Clowney is expected to sign with the Tennessee Titans, ESPN reported Saturday, ending the Ravens’ pursuit of the star defensive end.

ESPN reported earlier Saturday that while the New Orleans Saints and Titans had made “sizable offers” to the three-time Pro Bowl selection, the Ravens “almost got something done” a couple of weeks ago and should not be discounted.

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Asked Saturday about the reports linking Clowney to the Ravens, coach John Harbaugh declined to detail the team’s level of interest. But he praised the former No. 1 overall draft pick.

“I think anybody would have an interest in a player of that caliber, certainly,” Harbaugh said in a video conference call. “Anybody across the league would, you know? He’s a great player. He’s, from all accounts, a good, hardworking guy, so it just depends on people’s situations, roster situations and cap situations to determine all those kind of things.”

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Terms of Clowney’s deal were not disclosed. The Ravens have just over $16 million in salary cap space after releasing Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas III, but that number could be manipulated with other contract maneuvers. According to salary cap database Spotrac, the Saints have under $7 million in space, while the Titans have almost $22 million.

Clowney had three sacks last season for the Seattle Seahawks, his fewest since an injury-shortened rookie season, and he has never finished with double-digit sacks in his career. But Clowney’s double-team rate was among the highest for edge rushers last season, according to ESPN, and he finished No. 7 among defensive ends and outside linebackers in the site’s pass-rush win rate, which measures how often a pass rusher is able to beat his block within 2.5 seconds.

After finishing 21st in the NFL last season in sacks (37), the Ravens are expected to have a more potent pass rush in 2020. They return Pro Bowl outside linebacker Matthew Judon, who led the team with 9½ sacks last season, and rising outside linebackers Jaylon Ferguson and Tyus Bowser. At defensive end, they added perennial Pro Bowl pick Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe.

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