The franchise tag has created tremendous tension between Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans.
The Texans placed the franchise tag on Clowney in March, and were unable to ink a long-term deal by the deadline on Monday, which means the Texans' star will play on the tag. But it's not totally clear what that deal will look like.
The Texans labeled a "DE/LB," an ambiguous characterization. Which one is he, a linebacker or a defensive end? It's important, because a linebacker's tag carries a $1.698 million lower salary than a defensive end. That's because the sum for a franchise tag gives a player no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position over the last five years (or 120 percent of his previous salary, if that figure is larger). Defensive ends, on average, are paid more than linebackers, so the franchise tag is higher for their services.
The NFLPA is expected to file a grievance against the Texans, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. They would probably only do that if Houston labeled Clowney linebacker, the lower-paying designation.