Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans have come to an agreement on a rookie contract, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Clowney earned a healthy paycheck after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. Per McClain, the deal is worth $22.272 million guaranteed, with a $14.518 million signing bonus.
Clowney's deal is in line with those of the last three No. 1 overall picks, Eric Fisher (2013), Andrew Luck (2012) and Cam Newton (2011), all of whom were selected after the NFL agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement with players that reined in spending on rookie contracts. Clowney's contract will include a team option for a fifth year worth that season's transition tag, which is standard for top-10 picks.
Clowney has been touted as a potential superstar since his days as a top high school recruit. He put together a prolific career at South Carolina (albeit with a somewhat disappointing, hot take-inducing junior year) before declaring for the NFL Draft with a year of eligibility left. Clowney was a first-team All-SEC and All-American in 2012 and 2013, and was named SEC Defensive Player after a sophomore season in which he racked up 13 sacks among 23.5 tackles for loss.
With Clowney signed, offensive guard Xavier Su'a-Filo is the only rookie yet to be signed by the Texans. There is still a significant number of first-round draft packs yet to be signed by NFL teams. The list:
- No. 2 pick Greg Robinson, OT, St. Louis Rams
- No. 3 pick Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- No. 7 pick Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- No. 8 pick Justin Gilbert, CB, Cleveland Browns
- No. 10 pick Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions
- No. 11 pick Taylor Lewan, OT, Tennessee Titans
- No. 13 pick Aaron Donald, DT, St. Louis Rams
- No. 16 pick Zack Martin, OT, Dallas Cowboys
- No. 19 pick Ja'Wuan James, OT, Miami Dolphins
- No. 22 pick Johnny Manziel, QB, Cleveland Browns
- No. 24 pick Darqueze Dennard, CB, Cincinnati Bengals
- No. 26 pick Marcus Smith, OLB, Philadelphia Eagles
- No. 29 pick Dominique Easley, DT, New England Patriots
- No. 31 pick Bradley Roby, CB, Denver Broncos
Now that Clowney's contract is set, it could encourage other first-rounders to sign. We'll see in the coming days.
With Clowney in tow, the Texans should have a pass rush to rival any team in the NFL, with J.J. Watt forming the other half of a formidable duo. The Texans were rumored to be trading the No. 1 overall pick for several months, knowing that several teams coveted Clowney and that they were already well-set in the defensive front. Clowney's freakish athleticism may have made him difficult to pass up, however.
According to McClain, Clowney could stand up in Romeo Crennel's defense.
Clowney is making transition to OLB in Romeo Crennel's base 3-4 defense. He works closely with LB coach Mike Vrabel.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) June 6, 2014