It is looking like Houston Texans defensive end/linebacker Jadeveon Clowney will not participate in the team’s training camp and preseason games.
The deadline for the NFL to sign its franchise players came and passed on Monday, and Clowney and the Texans remain far apart on a new contract. So under the collective bargaining agreement, Clowney is not required to report for training camp beginning on July 25 and can miss the entire preseason without a fine.
Clowney could sign his $15.967 million franchise tender on the week leading up to the Texans’ season opener and be ready to play against New Orleans on Sept. 9.
But the NFL Players Association is expected to file a grievance against the Texans for assigning him as a linebacker, which would cost less than designating him as a defensive end.
The Texans would have to pay Clowney $17.128 million as a defensive end instead of the $15.443 million, plus the additional $524,000. Last year, he earned $13.306 million with a $1 million bonus while playing on his fifth-year option.
Clowney took more snaps last season at defensive end than linebacker, according to ESPN. He had 729 snaps at defensive end and 33 at linebacker in 2018. He had 47 tackles, nine sacks and a forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and a touchdown last season, earning his third consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl.
Clowney struggled with injuries early in his career, but has developed into one of the top defensive players in the league.