Houston- After a surprisingly quick Wildcard exit from the playoffs, the Houston Texans are now heading into the offseason with all sights set on how to move forward with the team. One of the hallmark questions this offseason is if star DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney will be resigned by the Texans after both parties failed to come to terms on an extension this past offseason.
“…I think in these things, this is where the business side comes in,” stated Coach Bill O’Brien. “This is the tough side of professional football.”
General Manager Brian Gaine has stated in the past how he doesn’t believe in contract negotiations during the regular season so players can avoid having to focus on the business aspect of professional football. Even with the season ending, Clowney insists that he still isn’t putting much thought into his looming contract situation.
“I ain’t even been thinking about a contract,” said Clowney. “I said to myself if I come back and play well like I know I’m going to, the contract will take care of itself. I’m going to work on my craft and work on my game this offseason. That’s what I’m worried about right now.”
If Clowney were to sign a contract elsewhere, that would require not only him, but his family to relocate to another city. Although Clowney proclaims he isn’t thinking too much about his contract, he does understand the importance of getting the situation worked out for the sake of his family.
“It’s very big for my family to know what’s going on,” Clowney stated . “That’s the only thing to worry about. How your family feels and everything.”
Sharing the same sentiment as Clowney, O’Brien echoes similar thoughts on the decision-making process when it comes to contract situations such as these.
“Everybody’s got to do what’s best for their ‘family’,” said O’Brien. “Our family is the Houston Texans. He’s got to do what’s best for him.”
Although the business side of professional football is tough, O’Brien has made it clear that Clowney plays a large role in a Texans defense that has ranked within the top ten in points per game for three out of the four seasons O’Brien has been head coach.
“I think very highly of him,” said Coach O’Brien. “I think he’s a disruptive player… Jadeveon is a big part of what we’ve done here.”
After an injury-riddled rookie season, the light has turned on for Jadeveon Clowney over the past couple of seasons with him being named to the Second-Team All-Pro squad in 2016 while also making the Pro Bowl during the 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons. Whether it is was helping fill the void when five time All-Pro J.J. Watt was injured for the majority of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, or being a part of the highly touted one-two punch with Watt, Clowney has proven himself a valuable player among this Texans front-seven. At the end of the day, Clowney’s ideal scenario would be one where he remains in Houston and can finish his career where he started.
“I love Houston,” stated Clowney. “I love these teammates. I’ve been here for five years. Of course I want to be here for the rest of my career, but I want to play football and I want to get better at this game. That’s what I’m focusing on.”