Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans may not have a long-term future together, but he will not extend his holdout into the season.
Jadeveon Clowney will not be following the path of Le’Veon Bell in 2018, or perhaps Melvin Gordon this year. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the franchise-tagged pass rusher will report to the Houston Texans after the team’s third preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 24.
Clowney and Texans were not able to agree on a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players, as the two sides seem to be far apart in contract talks with no sign of change. Clowney has not yet signed his $15.97 million franchise tender, and he won’t for a little while yet.
After being drafted No. 1 overall in 2014, injuries slowed Clowney’s development. But he has been healthy recently, missing just three games over the last three seasons, and he has delivered with a total of 24.5 sacks (career-high 9.5 in 2017) and 53 tackles for loss over that span.
Clowney got the ninth-best overall grade among edge defenders from Pro Football Focus last year (88), with career-best grades as a pass rusher (78.8) and run defender (91.2; second among edge defenders) as well as a run stop percentage (9.9) that tied for 10th among edge defenders.
There’s a chance the Texans would try to trade Clowney after he reports. There’s also a chance, however incredibly remote at this late stage, that they could rescind the franchise tag on him and make him an unrestricted free agent. When the Carolina Panthers rescinded the franchise tag on cornerback Josh Norman in 2016, they did so in April.
Rapoport added that Clowney is in shape, so there are no concerns for the Texans there.
It sounds to me like they are both going to use each other for good,” Rapoport said. “Clowney is going to show up and ball. The Texans are going to get one year out of it, and then probably get a comp pick (if he signs elsewhere in free agency). Seems like both sides could benefit.
As long as his conditioning is in order, Clowney not being at training camp is hardly a big deal. But he knows he has to play to ultimately get paid like he wants to be paid, at or near the top of the pass rusher market, and as has been expected all along he won’t relinquish any game checks this year.