The Oakland Raiders traded Khalil Mack just prior to the start of the 2018 NFL season. A year later, it sounds like another Pro Bowl pass rusher could be on the move shortly before Week 1.
Multiple reports indicate that the Houston Texans are looking to trade Jadeveon Clowney. The Athletic’s Mike Lombardi reported that the defensive end is being shopped, and the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain noted that he’ll be surprised if Clowney isn’t dealt.
Clowney hasn’t reported to Texans’ camp, refusing to sign the franchise tag that Houston placed on him during the offseason. The tag would pay Clowney $15.967 million for the 2019 season.
Making a trade with another team would be difficult for Houston. No team can sign Clowney to a long-term contract until the end of the season. Clowney can reject any deal by refusing to sign the tender with a potential Texans’ trade partner.
I’ll be surprised if Jadeveon Clowney isn’t traded. They need an upgrade at LT to protect Deshaun Watson. LTs don’t grow on trees so I have no idea who it would be at this time of year.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) August 13, 2019
Clowney is being shopped, wrote it yesterday and the great @McClain_on_NFL would be shocked if he was NOT traded. Solving the Texans requirements for the trade (they will be reasonable) won't be hard for teams, solving the money for Clowney will be.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) August 13, 2019
A couple of destinations that have been considered as possible landing spots for Clowney have been deemed unlikely by recent reports.
According to the Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins won’t be trading for Clowney. Despite speculation that the Washington Redskins might agree to swap left tackle Trent Williams—he’s also holding out from training camp—for Clowney, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Washington has told teams they are not trading the veteran.
Clowney has played a key role in Houston winning three of the last four AFC South titles. The 26-year-old had nine sacks and 47 tackles last season, making his third straight Pro Bowl as the Texans went 11-5 and finished in first place.
Along with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, Clowney can help give Houston one of the NFL’s top pass rushes in 2019. The Texans might want to trade Clowney and improve an area of weakness, specifically the offensive line.
Deshaun Watson was sacked more than any other quarterback last season. Houston selected offensive linemen in both the first and second round of this year’s draft.
Because Clowney didn’t sign a new contract by July 15, he has to play under the franchise tag this season. It’s highly unlikely that he won’t report before the start of the regular season.
The Texans are scheduled to visit the New Orleans Saints on “Monday Night Football” in Week 1 on Sept. 9.