Well, it looks like GMGate has its first player progression casualty. Per sources close the Texans, Aaron Wilson reported late yesterday that there is no new contract waiting for Jadeveon Clowney. To make matters worse, Wilson has been told to expect JD to miss most of, if not all, of training camp.
No change, no deal in offing for Texans franchise player Jadeveon Clowney https://t.co/B36QAiiiBx— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) July 9, 2019
With the July 15th deadline for franchised players to sign new contracts looming, with no general manager in the building to work a last minute deal, and with an apparent lack of desire from either side of the negotiations to bridge the gulf, the career potential of Jadeveon Clowney, once considered a phenom of phenoms, takes yet another hit.
Aaron Wilson writes:
That means that Clowney, one of the Texans’ top defensive players, will play this season under a $15.967 million franchise tender.
The former top overall pick from South Carolina isn’t expected to sign the tender anytime soon and is expected to miss at least a major portion of, if not all of training camp. Clowney is expected to report prior to the regular season when he is due weekly $939,235 game checks.
As most have seen, Houston’s defense is in rarefied aire when Clowney and J.J. Watt are on the field together. Unfortunately, the injury bug has taken them both off the field far too many times in the years their careers have overlapped. Removing one of the two Pro Bowlers from the equation just adds more to the appearance of front office incompetence that’s plagued Houston all offseason, especially considering Clowney’s performance the last three seasons, the cap space available to the Texans, and the injury hurdles both he and Watt have overcome.
We can make arguments all day long about Clowney not meeting his potential due to durability issues, but let’s not forget his first, and only, major injury was due to a seam in the flawed grass pallet system at NRG Stadium while chasing after RGIII. Recall that the grass pallet system was replaced by turf soon thereafter.
The only bright side to this current situation is the amount of reps now available to backups and positional players with Clowney out of the mix. Houston has allegedly elevated Brennan Scarlett to the starting spot vacated by Clowney’s absence. While no one in their right mind believes Scarlet can replace JD, at least he’s now getting reps and training opportunities he wouldn’t have have if #90 was still in the building.
It’s no secret I’m a huge Clowney fan. I strongly believe Houston should get his deal done and move on. But, I also strongly believe the Texans should have fixed the offensive line this offseason, so what do I know? Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a Le’Veon Bell situation...
What do you think? Are you happy Houston isn’t bowing to the cash demands of Clowney and his agent? Upset that the NRG braintrust doesn’t want to get this deal done? Think there’s some other underlying subplot we don’t know about (i.e., Clowney wants to be the highest paid edge rusher in the NFL and/or wants to go play for Mike Vrabel again)?