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Remember Jimmy Clausen?

Former 2nd round pick could be looking for work soon. Matt Bowen

Print This February 14, 2012, 11:00 AM EST
8 Comments

The top tier free agents in the NFL will grab most of the attention as we get closer to March, but don’t forget about those second and third tier free agents that fill up rosters and provide depth.

Jimmy ClausenICONIf Clausen hits the free agent market, will he draw some interest as a possible No.2 QB? 

And one of those players could be QB Jimmy Clausen.

The former second round pick out of Notre Dame wasn’t active for a single game in the 2011 season and took a back seat after the Panthers drafted Cam Newton No.1 overall.

As pointed out by ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas on Monday, Clausen is scheduled to bring in a $923,000 bonus if he is on the roster 14 days after the start of the league year (March 13th) and cutting him would clear over $1-million in cap space.

Sounds like an easy cost-cutting move from my perspective.

Ron Rivera and his staff had plenty of time to evaluate the tape from Clausen’s rookie season in 2010 when they took over in Carolina, they saw him compete in training camp and still went with Derek Anderson as the No.2 behind Newton last year.

Clausen will fall into that bottom tier of free agents if he is eventually cut, but whenever there is a QB on the street, teams in this league will take a look.

I don’t see Clausen coming into a training camp this summer and competing for a starting job, but when we start to talk about depth at the position (something that was lacking around the NFL in 2011), the former Irish QB could provide some value.

To be honest, Clausen didn’t stand much of a chance with a new staff (that didn’t draft him) and Newton coming to town at the same time in 2011. At best he was going to be a No.2 and would have to eventually look elsewhere to play meaningful minutes.

It is too early to try and gage the interest level for Clausen as a possible free agent, and this could also be a situation that plays out after the draft when teams are looking to fill up spots behind their No.1 QB.

However, there were teams that had a high grade on the QB when he came out of South Bend and the position is always on the top of the priority lists in today’s NFL. Let’s see how this plays out for Clausen as free agency gets closer.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattBowen41

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tommyd13
Feb 14, 2012
12:19 PM

Clausen is bad, not sure what he offers anyone. In 2010 we saw all we needed to see here - he was handed the ball and despite him being a rookie - NEVER displayed any quickness to move around the pocket, throw over tall NFL lineman or most important - never showed the arm strength to put enough zip on the ball to reach receivers. Not sure if will ever be viable.

PG
Feb 14, 2012
02:23 PM

That entire draft class of QBs looks weak at this point. Bradford is a starter, yes, but I don't know that we can put him in the top third of the league's signal callers right now (which is certainly a team's ambition when drafting a player first overall). The truth about Tebow seems to be somewhere between the dismissive approach taken by draft gurus who called him a fifth round pick and the love stricken gawking of Josh McDaniels who overpaid for Tebow. Clausen and McCoy have shown that their fall from the first round was warranted. At least in Cleveland's case, they only gave up a low third rounder (their second pick of that third round, even) for McCoy — honest value for an above average backup but below average starter, which is probably most evaluators' verdict on Colt to date.

Palma
Feb 14, 2012
03:56 PM

While we did see plenty of how bad he was in 2010, I feel like it's not fair to completely trash him from the NFL because of what he did as a rookie in a bad position. He's definitely got value as a backup with a high potential ceiling. With a coaching regime change they always bring in their own guys and Chudzinski made Derek Anderson a pro-bowler in Cleveland and was probably set on making him the #2 regardless of Clausens play in Camp.

MarkB
Feb 14, 2012
07:33 PM

It used to be that rookies sat on the bench and learned. Now, if you don't blow the league away your first year, you're a bum. Maybe he just wasn't ready. I'd certainly bring him in for a workout. Given the low quality of many starters in the league, much less backups, there's always a chance to resurrect the guys's career. If you made a good backup out of him, that's worth something. Or would you rather draft a 29 year old with feet of concrete?

MrTouchdown
Feb 15, 2012
01:28 AM

Good riddance

Signed,

Every Panther fan.

MrTouchdown
Feb 15, 2012
01:28 AM

Good riddance

Signed,

Every Panther fan.

BearMarket
Feb 15, 2012
02:22 PM

All I know about Clausen is that he played on a putrid team his rookie year, as every Panther fan should know. What was he supposed to do?

Tommy T
Feb 19, 2012
10:43 PM

If Alex Smith can make it in this NFL World, Jimmy Clausen can. The panthers were -terrible- in 2010 so lets just blame Clausen right? The O-line stunk up the joint, the running game was injured, oh and lets talk about the array of talent in the receiving corps (aside from Steve Smith and Shockey - who wasn't there then). I think it is funny that you morons count out a guy after one bad season on a bad team. What did you expect?

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