Jadeveon Clowney’s decision about his future in Houston couldn’t be more clear.
The Texans defensive end and 2014 No. 1 overall pick is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year opens in March, but he insists he wants to stay put.
“Of course, I want to come back,” Clowney said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I promise to the Texans and whoever else is watching that I’m going to be a much better, improved player next season. I haven’t been thinking about a contract. If I come back and play well like I know I’m going to, contract will take care of itself. I’m going to work on my craft and work on my game. That’s what I’m worrying about.”
While Texans coach Bill O’Brien acknowledged Clowney’s talents, he couldn’t deny his health problems. One issue sure to raise concerns with the team as they ramp up negotiations is Clowney’s injuries, as he’s missed 18 of 80 regular season games since entering the league in 2014.
“I think very highly of him,” O’Brien said. “I think he’s a disruptive player. This is where the business side comes in. This is the tough side of professional football.
“Jadeveon is a big part of what we’ve done here. When he feels good, health-wise, and he’s ready to rock-and-roll, he’s hard to handle. So, we’re going to work hard to try to get something done, but we’ll see how it goes.”
While the Texans appear keen to negotiate a contract extension for Clowney ahead of the deadline to franchise tag players, a tender could be an option if a long-term deal is not reached.
“That’s very important because that makes me more confident knowing where you’re going to be,” Clowney said. “That’s very big for my family to know what’s going. As a football player, I love Houston. Of course, I want to be here for the rest of my career.”
Clowney, 25, has logged 29 sacks and five forced fumbles en route to three consecutive Pro Bowl selections in his five-year career.