The Houston Texans have placed the franchise tag on pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney for the 2019 season.
At least for one more season outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney will be a member of the Houston Texans as the team placed the franchise tag on the previous No. 1 overall pick on Monday, the Texans announced on Twitter.
Clowney was selected as the Texans No. 1 overall pick in 2014 where he missed the entire season. Since taking the field in 2015, Clowney has career totals of 62 regular season games played (55 starts) with 205 tackles (151 solo), 67 QB hits, 64 tackles for loss, 29 sacks, 11 passes defensed, six fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and two touchdowns.
This is a smart move by the Texans as Clowney is an important part of the defense for the reigning AFC South champions and it keeps him from joining another team in ’19. The longer the Texans and Clowney’s representatives can work on a long-term deal, the better his chances are staying with the franchise.
The Texans can’t afford to lose a player with the abilities of Clowney, because having him on the field makes the rest of the defense better, and having players like J.J. Watt on the defensive line that is always a good thing to keep going.
This past season Clowney had a grade of 88.0 from Pro Football Focus with a run defense grade of 91.2.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported the following about the Texans and Clowney in an article on Monday:
"“By making Clowney the franchise player, that prevents him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. It also buys the Texans time as they would have until a July 15 deadline to sign Clowney to a new contract.”"
This past season, Clowey played in 15 regular season games, making 14 starts. He totaled 47 total tackles (38 solo) with nine sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 21 QB hits. Clowney also collected three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one pass defensed and scored one touchdown.
Keeping Clowney on the roster was an important aspect of the offseason, with that guaranteed for at least the ’19 season — even if it under a franchise tag — the Texans can not only continue to work on a potential long-term deal for the outside linebacker, but also focus on other free agents too. This was the first of many important decisions the Texans must get correct during the offseason.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe
to PFF’s EDGE or ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.