General manager Brian Gaine of the Houston Texans said on Friday that he is optimistic the team will sign Pro Bowl linebacker Jadeveon Clowney to a long-term contract before the start of the season.
Clowney is set to play on his fifth-year option in 2018, when he will receive a significant raise because he was the No. 1 overall pick in 2014. He made $7 million in 2017 and is scheduled to make more than $12 million this season.
"I won't discuss our negotiations publicly, but I'm optimistic that something can be done," Gaine said at his pre-draft news conference.
"The production, the performance, the pass-rush ability. The guy's a disruptive player. He plays the run well. So we're doing our best to fortify our nucleus of players, and we'd like him to be a part of it."
Clowney battled injuries in his first two NFL seasons and played in his first 16-game season in 2017.