By Garret Heinrich (@GarretHeinrich)
Houston Texans linebacker and former number one overall pick Jadeveon Clowney is recovering from soreness in his knee and was not with the team as they traveled to San Francisco to kick off the 2016 preseason. The team won 24-13 on the back of a solid performance behind backup quarterback Tom Savage.
While the team was in San Francisco, Clowney, who is expected to return to the practice field this week, was spotted at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles playing craps on Friday night.
Many people weren’t happy that Clowney was spotted at the casino while his team was preparing to play a game on Sunday. So we were wondering, it this a deal, or no deal at all? Let’s examine.
No Deal: Clowney was not supposed to be with the team.
It isn’t like Clowney skipped out on the flight to San Francisco and decided to drive two hours to a casino to try and double his $22 million contract.
No Deal: Nick Martin, the Texans rookie and starting center was also left at home to recover from an injury.
Clowney wasn’t the only player the Texans decided to let stay home from the trip. Other injured players J.J. Watt, Derek Newton and Nick Martin did not accompany the team either.
Deal: Maybe not the best place to be seen while your teammates are working on getting ready for the season.
Everyone is going to look at this differently, and we don’t know what the players inside that locker room are going to say to JD on Monday, but it isn’t the best look for the third year player when he’s having trouble getting on the field.
Deal: We don’t know how much he won/lost at the table.
Clowney is a multi-millionaire. What limit table is he playing? Does he go Pass or No Pass line? Does he ever play the field or run with C&E? MORE DETAILS ABOUT HIS METHODS NEED TO BE KNOWN!
In the end, this is both a deal and a no deal. If Jadeveon Clowney isn’t the former number one overall pick who has struggled with injuries continuously for his first few years in the league people wouldn’t be worried about what he is doing on his allotted free time. If Nick Martin went to the casino during his time off, there might not be a picture of him floating around the internet and our e-mail boxes.
No Deal: Jadeveon Clowney has every right to do whatever he would like to do with his free time when his employer tells him he doesn’t need to travel with the team. If he wants to go to a Casino a few hours away, do it. It’d be awesome if we could do it more often.
Deal: Jadeveon Clowney is Jadeveon Clowney. He was the first pick in the 2014 NFL draft and has very high expectations that he has yet to fulfill. He should recognize that he needs to still project an image that shows he is doing everything he can to return to the field to fulfill those high expectations. He needs to realize that being out a casino two days before his teams’ first game of the preseason while he is not with them because he is yet again injured and recovering probably doesn’t project well to fans, teammates and anyone else who wants to take it as a negative.
If Clowney does get back from his knee injury he will be on the field this week. That is ultimately the only place that Jadeveon Clowney can put these kinds of things away. If he is on the field, if he performs, he can do whatever he likes (within the bounds of the law). Would there be a freak out if this were J.J. Watt? Duane Brown? Probably not, but they aren’t Jadeveon Clowney. And in this story, that is a deal.
[EDIT: The original story stated that Duane Brown did not accompany the team to San Francisco. He was in fact in San Francisco with the team. The players that were not with the team have been updated in the story. Thanks to @MrJasnB on Twitter for pointing it out to us.]