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Jadaveon Clowney landed with the Tennessee Titans over the weekend, but it was not from lack of effort from the New Orleans Saints, who were willing to attempt some wild salary cap shenanigans to land him.
Per Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Saints apparently tried a maneuver where (probably) the Browns would’ve signed Clowney for a $10 million base salary and $5 million signing bonus, then traded him to the Saints for an unnamed player a second round pick. Nonetheless, the reporters wrote: “Just one problem: The teams got word late Saturday the NFL was unlikely to approve such a deal.”
This is the type of salary cap alchemy you hear about more in the NBA than the NFL, but it does warrant mentioning that the Browns were willing to take on Brock Osweiler’s obscene contract a few years ago in exchange for a second round pick from the Texans.
The fact that the Saints were willing to potentially go to these measures is indicative of few things: 1) All of those years of kicking the cap can down the road finally caught up to them, 2) It would be interesting to give Saints GM Mickey Loomis some truth serum now about whether he regrets giving Taysom Hill a two-year $21 million deal, and 3) They must at least suspect this is their last go-round with Drew Brees.