Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney is not under contract for 2019 and faces the possibility of becoming a free agent for the first time in his career.
The former No. 1 overall pick said his preference is to remain with the Texans for the entirety of his career.
“That’s very important because that makes me more confident knowing where you’re going to be,” Clowney said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “That’s very big for my family to know what’s going. As a football player, I love Houston. Of course, I want to be here for the rest of my career.”
The Texans could placed the franchise tag on Clowney in order to keep him tethered to their roster heading in 2019, though that would come at a cost of at least $15 million depending on if he’s considered a defensive end or linebacker by the league. Clowney was named to his third straight Pro Bowl after recording nine sacks this season for Houston.
“Of course, I want to come back,” Clowney said. “I promise to the Texans and whoever else is watching that I’m going to be a much better, improved player next season. I haven’t been thinking about a contract. If I come back and play well like I know I’m going to, contract will take care of itself. I’m going to work on my craft and work on my game. That’s what I’m worrying about.”
Talks between the two sides were characterized as “amicable” before the season began, though no long term deal ever came to fruition between the two parties. Clowney missed 12 games as a rookie and has dealt with a number of knee issues dating back to his time at South Carolina. However, he’s missed just three games in total of the last three seasons. He’s been able to become a reliable piece of Houston’s defense over that time, recording 24.5 sacks over that span.