In the midst of the GM firing, subsequent search and Pot Calling The Kettle Black news cycle we find ourselves in, the big roster news for the Houston Texans, the contract situation with star edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, has been seemingly placed in limbo. The recent news is that both sides were far off from reaching a deal before Gaine was fired and talks had stopped altogether.
With no general manager in place, it’s hard to imagine Houston is doing much at all to end the stand-off with Clowney.
Clowney isn’t subject to minicamp fines because he got the franchise tag in March, hasn’t signed his tender and thus technically isn’t under contract with the team. It didn’t cost him anything to skip the Texans’ minicamp. At any time, he could sign the tender and be under contract for one year and about $15.4 million. He and the Texans still have more than a month to work out the long-term deal he seeks -- the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term contracts is July 15 -- which surely would bring Clowney to training camp.
The problem is the Texans haven’t been willing to give Clowney a long-term deal and might never get to that place. If they don’t, it’s not at all crazy to imagine him sitting out the whole season a la Le’Veon Bell last year in Pittsburgh. (Clowney has made more than $35 million in his first five years in the league, so it isn’t as if he needs the money.) The Texans have leverage since they could franchise him again next year if they want to. But unless Houston’s next GM is hired with a desire (or instructions) to do a deal his predecessor seemed reluctant to do, the relationship between Clowney and the Texans could be headed down an irreparable road.
For a guy who had so far to go, development-wise, and was finally starting to realize his potential, stalling out isn’t the best move. But this is a business and it all comes down to the dollars and decimal points in big time NFL contracts.
What do you think? Does Clowney’s deal get all worked out with the new GM? Does the new GM trade him off? Does he sit out in 2019?