On Thursday, Texans GM Brain Gaine said that they still plan to sign franchise OLB Jadeveon Clowney to a long-term extension.
“Yes,” Gaine said when asked if the Texans still want to sign Clowney to a new deal, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “That’s the spirit of the franchise tag. That’s a negotiation, a process. That’s still the plan.”
Prior reports have questioned whether the Texans are serious about signing Clowney long-term or just allowing him to play out the year under the franchise tag.
It’s also worth mentioning that Clowney has come up as a player teams have shown interest in trading for this offseason.
The Texans and Clowney parties have until July to negotiate a long-term extension.
The franchise tag for Clowney will be between $15,443,000 and $17,128,000, depending on whether he’s considered an outside linebacker or a defensive end.
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 was in line to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
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. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 9 overall edge defender out of 103 qualifying players.