HOUSTON — Jadeveon Clowney has his rookie contract with the Houston Texans. Now he needs to learn a new position.
The top choice in last month’s draft, Clowney signed a four-year contract with the Texans on Friday. Houston has an option for a fifth year, as in all NFL contracts with first-round picks under the current collective bargaining agreement.
A star defensive end since entering South Carolina in 2011, Clowney will become an outside linebacker with the Texans. Rest assured he will have plenty of pass rushing duties, but Houston plans to use him in a stand-up position.
The Texans are moving to a 3-4 alignment and have 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt as one of their ends.
“For any rookie, it’s very difficult to make the jump from college to pro. It doesn’t really matter if they were drafted No. 1 or undrafted; they’re all trying to learn and keep pace with the veterans,” new coach Bill O’Brien said recently. “I think he’s doing a decent job of and he’s working hard at it.”
Clowney had 130 tackles, including 47 for losses, and 24 sacks in three seasons at South Carolina. He also set a school record by forcing nine fumbles in his career.
LEAGUE HOPES TO CHOOSE 2015 SITE THIS SUMMER: More than a dozen cities are interested in hosting the NFL draft in 2015 draft, and the league hopes to choose a site this summer.
New York, Los Angeles and Chicago were invited this week to make presentations for next spring’s draft. But the league stresses that no finalists have been selected and many other cities are in the running.
The draft drew record TV ratings last month. It has been held in New York since 1965, with Radio City Music Hall the venue since 2006. But the Music Hall was not available for the usual late April dates this year and the draft was pushed back to May 8-10.
For the 2015 draft, the NFL is seeking proposals for April 22-25 or April 29-May 2.
Among the other cities that have shown interest in the draft are New Orleans, Boston, Cleveland, Green Bay, Houston, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Seattle. Not to mention Canton, Ohio, site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.