The Texans haven’t seen much of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney since using the franchise tag on him, and they may not for some time.
But they’re trusting that when they do, he’ll be himself.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans Pro Bowler hasn’t signed his franchise tender yet and hasn’t shown up for any of the offseason workouts or OTAs. That absence could extend to mandatory minicamp and at least part of training camp, as he waits to see if a long-term contract is possible.
“I have every belief and trust that JD is working on his own and getting ready for whenever he does decide to show up.,” O’Brien said. “JD has played good football for us. He knows what it takes to be ready for training camp and stuff like that. I’m not saying when he’s going to be here. He could be here tomorrow, so don’t put that in the headline.
“I have no idea when he’s going to be here. It’s up to him, but I do know we believe in the guys that are here and we’re working hard with the guys that are here.”
There were mixed reports prior to the draft, suggesting that he was available in trade, and that the Texans weren’t going to deal him. With all the movement on big-ticket pass-rushers this offseason, it seems reasonable to think his name came up in some conversations, considering the status of contract talks (which don’t seem particularly close).
He’s due $15.967 million this season, and without the kind of protection of a long-term deal, Clowney would be crazy to be putting himself at any degree of risk in May or June (or July or August for that matter).