We have another big twist in the Jadeveon Clowney situation.
With trade winds swirling around the Houston Texans franchise-tagged pass rusher, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Clowney met in person with Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores and other members of the organization’s brass, per sources informed of the situation.
The Dolphins have been speculated as a landing spot in a potential Clowney trade. However, until the 26-year-old signs his franchise tag, he cannot be traded. The situation lends Clowney a modicum of leverage in attempting to force his way to a preferred destination.
Trading for a player like Clowney would be an interesting move for a Miami squad that appears to be in full rebuild mode. However, the Dolphins do have a plethora of draft picks — including two in the second, third, fourth, sixth, and seventh — to play with.
Muddying the waters further, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that Clowney recently fired his longtime agent, Bus Cook, per sources informed of the situation. Clowney was unhappy with the state of talks about his future, leading to the breakup.
Pelissero added that Clowney filed his termination letter of Cook over five days ago, which mean he’s eligible to sign with a new agent now, per a source.
Clowney was originally expected to report to the Texans this week, but that timeline appears now muddled at best.
Until he reports to Houston and signs the tender, Clowney cannot be traded. He can also not be fined for missing time. With the July 15 deadline to strike a long-term deal passed, Clowney cannot sign a multiyear contract with the Texans — or any other team, including the Dolphins — this season, but could attempt to negotiate off of the one-year tender.
As Garafolo points out, the advice Clowney receives could determine his future in Houston or elsewhere in 2019.
Clowney has been the subject of rampant trade speculation in recent weeks. Until he signs the tender, however, he remains in limbo.
Coach Bill O’Brien has been mum on Clowney’s situation throughout training camp, stating this week that the “ball is in” the pass rusher’s court.
“Until he decides to come in and sign the tender, really the ball’s in his court relative to playing for the Texans and all those things, just like it’s been since the beginning of training camp. He’s a franchise player and so until he comes and signs the tender, really there’s nothing really else to talk about,” O’Brien said.
With news of the Dolphins‘ open pursuit of Clowney now public, the ball truly is in the pass rusher’s court. When he finally reports and signs the tender, perhaps then a shot will be taken.