Texans GM: ‘Still the plan’ to sign Jadeveon Clowney to long-term deal

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Houston Texans general manager Brian Gaine addressed the media on Thursday and was asked about the Jadeveon Clowney contract situation.

Responding to a question about whether the Texans still expect to get a long-term deal done with Clowney, Gaine said, “Yes. That’s the spirit of the franchise tag. That’s a negotiation, a process. That’s still the plan,” per Adam Wexler of KPRC 2 in Houston.

It won’t come cheap. DeMarcus Lawrence set the market for edge rushers when he inked a huge five-year, $105 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys. No doubt, Clowney’s representatives will be seeking at least that much.

Clowney has yet to sign the franchise tag and is expected to skip offseason workouts, including OTAs, without a long-term deal.

The latest reports indicate he and the Texans are still far apart in negotiations, and there is the potential for a holdout this summer if no deal is struck. The big reason for this, quite aside from the franchise tag designation itself, is that there is some conflict about the amount of money in that tag (just under $16 million).

Clowney, who is technically an outside linebacker in the Texans’ 3-4 scheme, is more like a traditional 4-3 defensive end than a linebacker. He rushes the passer and nearly always plays with his hand on the ground. Yet he’s not going to receive the money defensive ends would on the tag, which could potentially lead to a grievance if he and the Texans don’t agree on a long-term deal.

In five seasons since being the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney, 26, has tallied 205 tackles, 29 sacks, five forced fumbles and has scored two defensive touchdowns.