While some members of the 2014 draft class are getting paid, one will have to wait at least a year for his long-term deal.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Jadeveon Clowney is expected to play out the final year of his contract, and, barring a significant change, Houston will face the decision next offseason.
The news comes just two days after Texans GM Brian Gaine told NFL Network's James Palmer on Wednesday that if a deal does not get finalized before Week 1, it will have to wait until January at the earliest. Apparently, Gaine didn't even need to wait until Week 1 to make the determination.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft enters the fifth and final year of his rookie deal set to make $12.3 million.
Still just 25 years old, Clowney is coming off the best season of his career, a 59-tackle, 9.5-sack year in which he played all 16 games for the first time in his tenure.
Health, as always, underlies all of Clowney's situations. Rapoport noted that the pass rusher showing he can stay healthy for another season might be as important to next year's contract discussions as his production.
Clowney underwent a knee scope earlier this offseason. While he avoided the PUP list to open training camp, he's still not been cleared for team drills.
With the ability to wield the franchise tag on the pass rusher next year, the Texans will wait to make sure Clowney continues his upward trajectory and stays healthy before handing him a massive contract extension.