Jadeveon Clowney is due a very rich contract extension from the Houston Texans.
There is little doubt both sides want to lock up the standout defensive end to a long-term deal which would keep Clowney in Houston for many more years.
Clowney is entering the final year of his original deal, currently playing out the team option fifth season worth $13.846 million.
If that seems like a lot, prepare for sticker shock on what comes next for No. 90…
Based off recent contracts to comparable players, the Texans are going to have to pay at least $18 million per year on average to keep Clowney. The most relevant reference point is Von Miller’s deal with the Denver Broncos. Miller signed his contract just before the 2016 NFL season.
Paying Clowney more than the six-year, $114.1 million deal of Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller will be an extremely expensive undertaking. Miller got $70 million guaranteed and his contract pays him an average of $19.016 million per year.
Clowney could very well earn an average of $20 million per season in his forthcoming extension. Clowney is still just 24 years old (his birthday is Valentine’s Day) while Miller was 27 when he inked his massive payday. Miller was a far more accomplished sack artist but Clowney’s all-around play and positional versatility are exceptional. He’s also proven durable the last two seasons.
The guaranteed money will matter as much as the total salary.
As a hypothetical projection, let’s say Clowney signs a six-year, $120.1 million contract. If Miller got $70 million guaranteed, expect Clowney to garner $75 million. With the way the contract will be structured for salary cap purposes, that needs to be the focal point.
By way of comparison, J.J. Watt received just $51.8 million guaranteed in his 6-year, $100.1 million contract he signed with the Texans on the eve of the 2014 season.
The Texans currently project to have around $58 million in available salary cap room this offseason.