Seahawks close to landing Clowney from Texans

The Seattle Seahawks are on the verge of acquiring standout pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans, two people with knowledge of the deal said Saturday. Such a move would bolster one of Seattle’s biggest needs heading into the season.

Seattle reportedly is sending a third-round pick and two players to Houston.

Clowney held out from training camp with the Texans. The outside linebacker was unhappy about Houston using the franchise tag on him and no progress on a long-term contract. The Seahawks would have Clowney for the upcoming season at a cost of about $16 million. But Seattle has the salary cap space and a huge need on its defensive line.

The 26-year-old Clowney is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He had nine sacks in 15 games last season. He had a career-high 9½ sacks two years ago when he played a full NFL season for the only time. His speed coming off the edge could create all manner of trouble for opposing offensive tackles.

Pass rush has been one of Seattle’s primary concerns during the offseason after trading Frank Clark to Kansas City before the April draft. The Seahawks signed Ziggy Ansah in free agency, but he’s been sidelined throughout training camp, recovering from shoulder surgery, and returned to limited work in practice only last week.

Seattle will also play the first six games without suspended defensive tackle Jarran Reed.

Seattle is reportedly sending a 2020 third-round pick along with former first-rounder Barkevious Mingo and second-year pass rusher Jacob Martin back to the Texans.

Cut-down day: The cruelest day of the NFL’s long calendar arrived Saturday with teams setting their 53-player rosters.

Among the more prominent dismissals were Bills veteran running back LeSean McCoy, backup QBs Brian Hoyer in New England and former Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan in Denver and receivers Laquon Treadwell of Minnesota, Demaryius Thomas of New England and Washington’s Josh Doctson, a first-round pick in 2016.

The final weekend before the NFL kicks off its 100th season saw teams scrambling to get stars into their headquarters.

The Texans were the busiest team in the league. They also acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil from the Dolphins in a deal that netted them receiver Kenny Sills. Houston also sent O-lineman Martinas Rankin to the Chiefs for running back Carlos Hyde.

Tunsil improves a line that allowed Deshaun Watson to be sacked an NFL-high 62 times last season.

Another surprise cut by the Bills was cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who signed with Buffalo three weeks ago after E.J. Gaines was hurt. Munnerlyn had played for coach Sean McDermott in Carolina.

Overall, nearly 1,200 players were told they didn’t make the cut this weekend. Some will land with other teams and others will sign onto practice squads Sunday. But the vast majority of them won’t ever play professional football again, making way for another influx of college stars next April.

A remarkable streak continued in Indianapolis, where Andrew Luck provided the biggest stunner of the offseason by retiring last week. With TE Hale Hentges of Alabama making the team, the Colts have now had an undrafted player make the roster for the 21st consecutive season, a streak that began with Chukie Nwokorie and Terrence Wilkins in 1999.

For the 15th time in the past 16 years at least one undrafted college free agent made the Broncos’ initial roster. This time it was Nevada OLB Malik Reed and Colorado State ILB Josh Watson.

In other notable moves:

• The Patriots released Tom Brady’s backup, Hoyer, who was beaten out by rookie Jarrett Stidham, a fourth-rounder from Auburn.

• Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack reportedly signed a four-year contract extension worth $57 million that includes $33 million guaranteed.

• The Falcons brought back 44-year-old kicker Matt Bryant after failing to find his successor in the preseason.

• Browns veteran P Britton Colquitt lost his job to an undrafted rookie Jamie Gillan, a.k.a. “The Scottish Hammer.”

• The Vikings jettisoned kicker Kaare Vedvik, whom they acquired from Baltimore on Aug. 11 for a fifth-round draft pick.

• The Eagles released their two top rushers from last season: Josh Adams and Wendell Smallwood, and offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, a starting guard for the 2017 Super Bowl championship team.

• Chargers fifth-round pick Easton Stick beat out Cardale Jones for the QB3 spot and fifth-year safety Jaylen Watkins, who was thought to be safe after the injury to Derwin James, was a surprise cut, although he might go back once James is on IR.

• The Saints cut tight ends Alize’ Mack, a seventh-round flyer from Notre Dame, and Dan Arnold, who dropped a TD pass in the NFC championship.

• The Giants waived QB Kyle Lauletta, a fourth-round pick a year ago.

• Steelers undrafted outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper made the roster after collecting an NFL-high five sacks in the preseason.

• The Jets cut third-round pick Jachai Polite, a pass rusher from Florida who was selected by previous GM Mike Maccagnan, who was fired a few weeks after the draft.

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