HOUSTON – The clock is ticking as the new NFL season is rapidly approaching.
The Texans are in their final days of putting together a roster by the cut-down day. Head coach Bill O'Brien knows what he has to work with, except for one key name: Jadeveon Clowney.
Clowney, the Texans No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft, continues to be AWOL from the team and has yet to sign his franchise tender that will be worth $15.9 million for the 2019 season. Do your math, and that's going to be around $1 million per week once those game checks start rolling in.
Looking for a new agent
News leaked on Tuesday that Clowney had fired his agent Bus Cook, or as one report indicated he had "recently" fired Cook.
Apparently, the frustration has been building on Clowney's part to get something done. He and Cook didn't appear to be on the same page. The decision was made and now Clowney is in the market for new representation.
Clowney and a trade partner?
Finding a destination he'd be happy with in a trade is a big step but again nothing could happen anyway until he signs his franchise tender.
The NFL Network reported that the Dolphins remain a possible destination. The Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson, always well-connected, reported that the Dolphins are indeed still very interested in trading for Clowney, according to his league sources.
The key according to Wilson is Miami has to convince Clowney that South Florida is a great fit. Wilson wrote he prefers the Seahawks and Eagles as landing spots. He described it as a "fluid situation because he has leverage as an unsigned franchise player."
Ian Rappaport, of NFL Network, also reported that Clowney had hoped to report to the Texans this week before he found out they wanted to trade him. If the Texans can make it work with Miami, most believe Houston would want left tackle Laremy Tunsil in return. Multiple reports say the Dolphins will not move Tunsil in a deal.
Where he lands, Clowney will deliver
Obviously, the Texans need Clowney to further ramp up this defense, but there is concern that if he returned he would be disgruntled and a problem in the locker room.
He's one of the league's top pass rushers, accounting for 18.5 sacks combined in 2017 and 2018. In his 5-year career, which includes only one season where he played a full 16 games, Clowney has 29 sacks.
So, the waiting game will continue and the clock will keep ticking. The timing isn't good, with the Texans set to open the season on Sept. 9 in New Orleans. If a trade can get done, every minute in the days ahead is crucial.