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Texans slap franchise tag on star pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney

By Alex Butler
Texans slap franchise tag on star pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney
Houston Texans LB/DE Jadeveon Clowney (R) is free to negotiate with other teams after receiving the nonexclusive franchise tag Monday, but the Texans would receive two first-round picks if he signs elsewhere. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 4 (UPI) -- The Houston Texans have placed the franchise tag on star pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney.

Texans general manager Brian Gaine announced the move Monday.

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"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," Gaine said. "This gives us both an opportunity to continue to do so."

The Texans list Clowney as a DE/OLB. Defensive ends are set to make $17.1 million in 2019, while the linebacker tender comes in at $15.4 million. Clowney, 26, had 47 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, a pass defensed and a touchdown in 15 games in 2018.

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The move allows the Texans time to negotiate a long-term contract with the three-time Pro Bowl selection and No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Houston has until July 15 to reach a long-term deal with Clowney.

Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback/safety Kareem Jackson also are entering free agent status this offseason.

Gaine said Thursday that the negotiations with those players were "works in progress."

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"We won't publicly discuss contract negotiations, but obviously all good players, all significant contributors," Gaine said at the NFL scouting combine. "A lot of discovery this week. We'll have conversations with their representation this week."

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"So, want to make an effort to keep all our good players, keep our core players intact. Those guys are valuable guys. Time will tell. Those are works in progress. Those conversations will continue to take place here next week and in the coming weeks prior to free agency."

Clowney can negotiate with another team under the nonexclusive tag, but the Texas would receive two first round picks as compensation if he signs elsewhere.

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