HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — Brian Gaine already made his first major move as Houston Texans general manager, cutting longtime linebacker Brian Cushing earlier this month.
Will Jadeveon Clowney’s new contract be his second?
“That’s something that we’re currently evaluating,” Gaine said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “The feasibility of that, it’s certainly something we have interest in.”
After missing most of his first two NFL seasons with injury, Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick in 2014, has excelled.
He’s made back to back Pro Bowls, was named second-team All-Pro this season and has missed only two games in two years.
The two biggest questions with Clowney — can he stay healthy? can he live up to his draft stock? — seem to be answered, putting him in line for a contract that makes him among the highest paid defensive players in the NFL. But when will the payday come?
There’s an argument to be made for giving Clowney the franchise tag, given his injury history. Though the tag was used only once under former general manager Rick Smith — and not on cornerback A.J. Bouye last offseason — it’s possible that Brian Gaine, who assumed control last month, has a different philosophy.
If the Texans are going to re-sign Clowney this offseason, however, they’d be wise to do it as soon as possible. With Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack also in line for new deals this spring, waiting to sign Clowney would very likely make it more expensive, and, potentially, contentious. (Try explaining to Clowney and his agent, Bus Cook, that he’s not the caliber of player of Donald and Mack).