Houston Texans’ backup Brennan Scarlett is taking reps in OTAs with Jadeveon Clowney’s absence.
Houston Texans’ starting edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney has been absent from OTAs since they began last week. Filling in the gap for Clowney has been backup outside linebacker, Brennan Scarlett per Aaron Reiss of The Atheltic.
It should be noted that OTAs are voluntary, but mandatory veteran minicamp does start on June 11. Houston placed the franchise tag on Clowney on March 4. The two parties — the Texans and Clowney — have until July 15 at 3 p.m. CST to work out a contract extension. If the two parties do not come to an agreement, no talks can presume till after the season has come to a conclusion.
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In the absence of Clowney, Scarlett has been given an opportunity to step up into a heightened role. The outside linebacker is entering his fourth year with the team, after being signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 draft.
Last season, Scarlett appeared in 12 games for the Texans, starting three. Over those 12 appearances, he recorded 18 tackles and forced a pair of turnovers. In the 2017 season, Scarlett made a name for himself as a solid reserve linebacker. He tallied 29 tackles and two sacks during that season.
If not made apparent by the reps received at OTAs, Houston obviously thinks highly of the undrafted product from Stanford. In March, general manager Brian Gaine placed a $2 million tender on Scarlett in an effort to keep him in Houston.
Trade rumors swirled around the league about potential trades involving Clowney, but these should be taken with a grain of salt. With less than a 100 days until the kickoff of the 2019 NFL season, most teams have solidified their rosters heading into training camp.
Whatever happens regarding the Clowney contract negotiations, be it hold out, extension or a trade, Houston is prepared. If Clowney isn’t on the roster or ready to go week one, Scarlett may be called upon to play.