With Jadeveon Clowney’s fate as a member of the Houston Texans still up in the air, new reports suggest that another team may be in the mix for the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker – the rebuilding Miami Dolphins.
Citing separate reports from Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Sports Illustrated wrote that Clowney supposedly met with new Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and other staff members late last week. This took place around the same time that the 26-year-old Texans star fired his agent, due to what another NFL Network reporter, Tom Pelissero, described as his frustration over his unrestricted free agent status.
At the moment, there are still a number of complications to take note of regarding Clowney’s contract situation. As he was not able to sign a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft cannot sign such a contract with the Texans or any of the NFL’s 31 other teams. Sports Illustrated likewise noted that the Texans cannot trade Clowney until he signs his franchise tag, though there have been rumors suggesting that Houston had been trying to ship him to another team for some time.
As further explained by Sports Illustrated, the Texans reportedly tried to “engage” teams while shopping Clowney around in the spring, as it was believed at that time that Houston could part ways with him and get a future second-round draft pick in return. But with Clowney unable to sign a long-term contract, it appears unlikely that the former All-Pro linebacker could be traded for such a price.
Although the Dolphins could potentially improve their defense by signing a player of Jadeveon Clowney’s caliber, a separate report from Philly Voice noted that there are other teams that appear to be more likely destinations for the disgruntled star. Citing a tweet from Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the outlet wrote that Miami may have to sell Clowney on the idea of joining the Dolphins, as the linebacker apparently prefers to play for the Philadelphia Eagles or Seattle Seahawks in the 2019 NFL season.
Despite a rocky start to his NFL career that saw him miss a combined 15 games in his first two seasons in the league, Clowney has since emerged as one of the NFL’s best defenders against the run. For the 2018 campaign, the former University of South Carolina Gamecocks standout tallied 47 tackles, nine sacks, and one forced fumble and fumble recovery apiece for a Houston Texans team that topped the AFC South Division with an 11-5 win-loss record in the regular season.