Peter King, formally of Monday Morning Quarterback at Sports Illustrated, is now at NBC Sports, still writing the same sort of column he’s always written. In his latest edition, King thought about Jadeveon Clowney. Since this is unofficially “Should the Texans franchise tag Jadeveon Clowney”week, let’s see what a big, smart, professional football knower man thinks:
I think, as usual, what appears to be a lucrative free-agent market with a ton of money to spend will be denuded soon after the ability to tag players begins Tuesday. Pass-rushers like Frank Clark (Seattle), Dee Ford (Kansas City) and DeMarcus Lawrence (Dallas) are very likely to get franchise-tagged. Houston is likely to do the same with the super-talented Jadeveon Clowney entering his sixth NFL season (he’ll play 2019 at the young age of 26), but I’m skeptical of the Texans reaching a long-term deal with him because he’s not the worker bee some others on that defense are. But that could change. Clowney is very productive, and if he stays that way making a million a game on the tag in 2019, Houston could change its tune.
I don’t think this “worker bee” label is what’s holding Clowney back. It’s the injuries he suffered early in his career, and it’s the fact that he still hasn’t fully turned into pass rusher most thought he’d become. At age 26, with his athleticism and the flashes he shown, it would still be surprising if Clowney doesn’t get there. Add this to his run stopping ability. and Jadeveon Clowney could be the second best edge defender in the NFL.
Personally, I think what King thinks. Houston tags Clowney this season, mainly because of injury concerns. It did take Clowney three games to get ready for the 2018 season season after sitting out all of training camp. That, and the struggle to stay on the field for the first few years of his career, make the franchise tag a likely result.