Jadeveon Clowney was absent for the start of Houston’s three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday and plans to stay away from the Texans until he gets his new contract.
According to the Houston Chronicle, which cited unidentified league sources not authorized to speak publicly, the star linebacker/defensive end is expected to miss the entire offseason and at least a portion of training camp before likely reporting prior to the start of the regular season.
Clowney has yet to sign his $15.967 million franchise tender and would further forfeit $939,235 each week he sits out beginning in September.
“No, as you know, he’s been franchised,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Tuesday. “He’s not here [today]. It is what it is. The situation is what it is.”
Despite his absence, O’Brien has expressed confidence that Clowney is still working out while he’s away from the team.
“I have every belief and trust that JD is working on his own and getting ready for whenever he does decide to show up,” O’Brien said. “JD has played good football for us. He knows what it takes to be ready for training camp and stuff like that.”
Clowney, 26, has spent his entire career with the Texans 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.
He has 18.5 sacks and three forced fumbles over the past two seasons.