According to John McClain, Texans left tackle Duane Brown is holding himself out of offseason activities while he pursues a new contract.
LT Duane Brown has missed first two OTAs. Wants a new deal. Has two years left.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 23, 2017
Texans' Duane Brown absent due to contract dispute https://t.co/jDk6F2Z7tI via @HoustonChron— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 23, 2017
Brown will be 32 at the start of the 2017 season - still within the “prime” of most offensive linemen - but will be nearly 34 when he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2018 season. He has $19.4 million left on the six-year, $53.4 million extension he signed in 2012, but none of that remaining money is guaranteed.
It is highly likely that Brown is just looking for some long-term job security as he hits the back side of his career, especially after the brush with his playing mortality Brown had late in the 2015 season. With Houston still holding $28 million dollars in cap space right now (and a projected $56 million in space next offseason), it’s no surprise that Brown and his agent are angling to get a piece of that pie while it’s still available.
All that being said , DeAndre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney are both trying to get their own (first) gigantic contract extensions as well. There may not be enough money to go around once all the chips are on the table, so Rick Smith and Bill O’Brien could be forced to make some tough decisions over the next two seasons. With any luck, all of these negotiations will be sorted out before training camp rolls around and the stakes for holdouts become higher than ever.