When Kahlil Mack and Aaron Donald each agreed to new record-setting contracts last weekend, Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney took notice.
Donald agreed with the Los Angeles Rams on a six-year, $135 million extension on Friday that made him the highest-paid defensive player in history at an annual average just over $22 million. A day later, Mack agreed to a six-year, $141 million contract extension with the Chicago Bears, with an average annual value of $23.5 million per season.
Clowney, the No. 1 pick in the same draft as Mack and Donald, is entering the fifth-year option of his contract and will make $12.3 million this season.
“I came out with them guys,” Clowney said, via the Houston Chronicle. “Of course, I want to be up there with them.”
Mack was the fifth overall pick and Donald 13th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, though they have each accomplished more in their NFL careers while Clowney was initially slowed by injuries. Clowney played his first 16-game season last year, totaling 9.5 sacks and earning his second straight Pro Bowl nod.
“Timing, it’s all about timing in everything about this league,” Clowney said. “Injuries happen. You get paid at a certain time. You hit the market at the right time. They hold out. They got what they deserve. I think those guys deserve those contracts.”
Clowney, 25, has 20.0 sacks in 47 games over his first four seasons. Mack is at 40.5 sacks for his career, while Donald has 39.0.
—Field Level Media