Bill Barnwell has a book of matches, he’s got a can of gasoline, and a mad idea involving the Houston Texans. Yesterday we were too busy posting content of our own to post it, but Barnwell released offseason agendas for each AFC team. This is his agenda for the Houston Texans:
Resolve the Jadeveon Clowney situation. I suggested in February that the Clowney contract negotiations would be more difficult than the typical franchise-tag talks. The 26-year-old Clowney’s ability to take over games is obvious, but the former first overall pick has microfracture surgery in his past and hasn’t hit 10 sacks or 25 knockdowns in a single season. The Texans would argue that Clowney should be paid like someone who might turn into a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Clowney and his representation might argue that he’s about to become one, and while the Texans might not be as confident, at least one of the 31 other teams in the NFL would be likely to take the plunge and bet on it happening. A healthy Clowney might approach $20 million per year on the free market. The Texans could franchise Clowney again at $19.1 million in 2020, but that also makes it more likely he will just leave in 2021 for nothing more than a compensatory pick in the 2022 draft.
If the Texans think there’s a good chance Clowney will eventually leave for a compensatory pick, it’s better for them to find that one true believer team before Clowney hits the market. Plenty of teams would love to add a 26-year-old pass-rusher with Clowney’s upside. If the Frank Clark trade is any indication, there’s a chance the Texans could pick up a first-round pick in return for the former South Carolina star. Unlike the Raiders, who had nothing in the defensive cupboard after trading Khalil Mack, the Texans could move forward with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus on the edge.
Look Bill. The Texans can’t trade Clowney. They can’t move forward with Watt and Mercilus on the edge. It would be a disaster. He’s one of the best run stopping defenders in football, is a very good pass rusher, with the potential to be a great one. He’s just 26. He’s about to enter the prime of his career. The Texans don’t have a pass rush unless Watt and Clowney are barbaric. Yes, they should resolve the Clowney situation, but they should by signing him to a long term contract.
Why couldn’t you have just said they need to figure out their offensive line, or sign another veteran cornerback, or sign Gerald McCoy? Why did you do this?