The Texans and Jadeveon Clowney enter standoff territory now

Clowney is franchise tagged; what's next?

Jadeveon Clowney was in the spotlight. Zach Tarrant/

The Houston Texans made official their use of the franchise tag Monday on defensive standout Jadeveon Clowney.

The non-exclusive tag means they can match any offer sheet Clowney receives or accept compensation of two first round picks for a team signing him. He can not be traded until he signs the franchise tag.

Clowney has to be offered and accept a new contract by July 15 or he will be forced to play under the guaranteed one year tag number. Clowney will be tagged as a linebacker meaning his one-year guaranteed salary will be $15.967 million which is 120 percent of his previous year's salary. Pro Football Focus reports Clowney playing more snaps at defensive end this season. A defensive end tag would have been worth almost $2 million more than the linebacker tag. Clowney was rewarded an extra $1 million this past season on his fifth-year option after an assessment of his position. The NFL decides the positional tag.

Texans General Manager Brian Gaine said this about Clowney and the tag process in a press release.

"Today, we have placed the franchise tag on Jadeveon Clowney, but our goal is to continue to work with his representation on a long-term contract," he said. "This gives us both an opportunity to continue to do so."

Cody's Take

This is the way the business is played right now. There wasn't really a deadline for them to reach a deal, that isn't until July. Clowney and the Texans can spend the next few months discussing and posturing on a new deal. I am sure Clowney's side wants money close to the most ever for a defensive player. There is no thought in my mind the Texans should pay that amount, but he should be rewarded.

The tag of linebacker is a bit silly as Clowney is basically a defensive end who can stand up for this team. Ultimately, that doesn't matter if a new contract is reached. If there isn't a new deal I don't expect to see Clowney until he absolutely has to show up to play. No mini-camp. No training camp. We will see Clowney when he has to sign and show up.

Missing those events is Clowney's right and I fully support his ability to do so. Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack missed camps before. So have other players. It isn't the end of the world if he misses the offseason workouts with the teams, but, you'd prefer he is there.

I would expect a pissed off and motivated Clowney in the upcoming season. Clowney keeps improving and there isn't an end in sight on his talent. One franchise tag makes a little bit of sense. I don't believe they would risk tagging him again and him sitting out a season.

The contract will be big if they can get it done. It will make some people uncomfortable but don't worry about the money. The Texans have it. They have planned for this. TexansCap projects the Texans to have $64 million after the franchise tag. The team got a little bit of a deal on DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt is below market value as well right now. Deshaun Watson has a rookie quarterback deal. The money is fine for the next few seasons. I also would expect Watt ponders asking for a new deal if Clowney gets a deal higher than his deal, which if he gets a new contract he will.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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