General manager Brian Gaine told NFL Network's James Palmer on Wednesday that he has a policy against negotiating contracts during the NFL season. If a deal does not get finalized before Week 1, then, it will have to wait until January at the earliest.
Still just 25 years old, Clowney is set to enter the final season of a rookie deal that will pay him more than $12 million. While there have been no reports of progress, Gaine was optimistic in April that the two sides would find common ground on the specifics.
"[I like his] height, weight, [and] speed," Gaine said earlier this offseason, via ESPN.com. "The production, the performance, the pass-rush ability. The guy's a disruptive player. He plays the run well. So we're doing our best to fortify our nucleus of players, and we'd like him to be a part of it."
Clowney is coming off his best season since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2014. In addition to 9.5 sacks, the two-time Pro Bowl selection racked up 21 tackles for loss -- second only to Arizona's Chandler Jones (28). If Gaine doesn't get him under contract by early September, he has to be prepared to wield the franchise tag next offseason.