Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Houston Texans star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney is expected to join the team earlier than anticipated.
League sources told NFL Media on Monday that Clowney is presumed to return to the Texans after the team's third preseason game Aug. 24 against the Dallas Cowboys. Originally, he was expected to report sometime before Houston's regular-season opener Sept. 9.
The Texans placed the franchise tag on Clowney this off-season after the two sides couldn't reach an agreement on a long-term contract extension before the July 15 deadline. The 26-year-old defender will play this season on the $15.97 million tender, according to the NFL Network.
Clowney could become an unrestricted free agent in March 2020 if the Texans refuse to place the franchise tag on him for a second time.
The Texans selected Clowney with the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of South Carolina. The three-time Pro Bowl choice recorded 47 combined tackles, nine sacks, one forced fumble and one pass defensed in 15 regular-season games last season.
In 62 career games with the Texans, Clowney has tallied 205 total tackles, 29 sacks and 11 passes defensed. He was named to the All-Pro first team in the 2016 campaign.