Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Texans intend to keep DE Jadeveon Clowney for at least the 2019 season, but would like to get a long-term extension in place with him before the deadline to franchise players.
However, Rapoport says the franchise tag is a “very viable option” for the Texans to use this offseason.
According to Rapoport, the Texans would also like retain S Tyrann Mathieu, who is playing under a one-year, prove-it contract.
Clowney, 25, is a former No. 1 overall pick of the Texans back in 2014. He was in the final year of his four-year, $22.272 million contract when the Texans picked up his fifth-year option last year.
Clowney was classified as an outside linebacker, which drops his fifth-year option figure from $13.846 million down to $12.306 million for the 2018 season and comes out to a savings of $1.54 million.
Clowney will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
In 2018, Clowney appeared in 15 games for the Texans and recorded 47 tackles, 9 sacks, a forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, one defensive touchdown and a pass defense.
Mathieu, 26, is a former third-round pick of the Cardinals back in 2013. He was entering the third year of his five-year, $64.1 million contract that included $35 million guaranteed when the Cardinals released him back in March.
The Texans later signed Mathieu one-year contract worth $7 million to go along with incentives.
In 2018, Mathieu appeared in 16 games for the Texans and recorded 89 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery and eight pass defense.
We have both players featured in our Top 50 – 2019 NFL Free Agents list.