Source: Brian Gaine, Bill O’Brien disagreed on signing Jadeveon Clowney to long-term deal

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The Texans reportedly won’t be signing linebacker Jadeveon Clowney to a long-term deal before Monday’s deadline for agreeing to terms on a multi-year contract with franchise tagged players. And there’s a good reason for that.

Per a league source, former G.M. Brian Gaine and current head coach Bill O’Brien disagreed on whether to make a long-term commitment to the first overall pick in the 2014 draft. With Gaine now gone, O’Brien’s preferred approach prevails.

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The first player selected during O’Brien’s tenure in Houston (yes, it really has been that long), Clowney has completed his four-year rookie deal and his fifth-year option. The Texans have chosen to keep him for one more year under the franchise tag, at a tender of $15.967 million.

Next year, if the Texans tag Clowney again, his one-year salary will increase by 20 percent, to $19.16 million. Absent a long-term deal or a second tag, Clowney will become a free agent.

For now, Clowney remains caught in the downside to the rookie wage scale. Adopted in order to prevent high-profile busts from receiving money they never earn, the system that arrived in 2011 also allows teams to squat on high-level picks who pan out, keeping their major payday away from them for six or seven years.

Regardless, that’s the rule — and O’Brien wanted to proceed this way. With no G.M. in place, O’Brien clearly is calling the shots on this one.

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