Texans place non-exclusive franchise tag on Jadeveon Clowney

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Jadeveon Clowney is getting his wish.

The Texans have placed the non-exclusive franchise designation on the sixth-year linebacker with the intention of eventiually working out a long-term deal, the team announced Monday.

“Today, we have placed the franchise tag on Jadeveon Clowney, but our goal is to continue to work with his representation on a long-term contract,” general manager Brian Gaine said in a statement. “This gives us both an opportunity to do so.”

Clowney is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins March 13, but has been vocal about wanting to stay put. The non-exclusive tag designation means Clowney may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if he signs an offer sheet, the Texans have the right to match the offer. If they choose not to match, they would receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

“Of course, I want to come back,” Clowney said in January. “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.

“That’s very important because that makes me more confident knowing where you’re going to be. 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, who turned 26 last month, has spent his entire career in Houston after being selected out of South Carolina with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 draft. The All-Pro defender has logged 29 sacks and five forced fumbles en route to three consecutive Pro Bowl selections during his career.