Jadeveon Clowney’s pursuit of a longterm mega-deal might just be delayed.
The Houston Texans announced they’d put the franchise tag on the Pro Bowl outside linebacker, meaning if negotiations don’t go well he’ll have to stay in Houston on a one-year deal. It will reportedly be worth $15 million instead of the $17 million he could get as a defensive end.
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The two sides had been working on a longer deal, and the franchise tag is often a bargaining tool for teams. Clowney can not sign the tender in the short term to try to force the team’s hand.
Clowney is coming off his third consecutive Pro Bowl season. He had 38 tackles and nine sacks last season. The former All-American made the All Pro team in 2016.
The former No. 1 overall pick battled knee injuries early in his career, but made the Pro Bowl in every season in which he has played 14 or more games.
Clowney’s career launched at South Pointe High School where he helped the Stallions win a state title in just the school’s second year of existence.
He came to South Carolina as the No. 1 recruit in the country and was an instant contributor. He went from Second-Team All-SEC as a freshman to First-Team All-American as a sophomore while winning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and finishing sixth in Heisman voting. His numbers slipped as a junior, with only 39 tackles, 11 1/2 for loss and three sacks, but he was still named to one All-America team.