The Jets are prioritizing signing a pass rusher this offseason, but one potential target appears to be off the board.
The Houston Texans placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on OLB Jadeveon Clowney on Monday, the team announced.
Clowney, 26, has until July 15 to reach terms on a long-term deal with Houston or play on a one-year contract worth $15.43 million guaranteed.
Because the tag is non-exclusive, Clowney can still negotiate with other teams but the Texans have the ability to match any offer. If they fail to match, they would be entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation, making it unlikely for a team like the Jets to sign him.
Clowney was among those to keep an eye on for the Jets as they prepare to spend big money on a pass rusher in free agency this offseason, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.
With Clowney now essentially off the market, the Jets will likely prioritize Rams linebacker Dante Fowler, whom they have tried to acquire via trade the past two seasons. Ezekiel Ansah is another option for the Jets if they cannot land Fowler.
Other potential options have been taken off the board already. Frank Clark (Seahawks), DeMarcus Lawrence (Cowboys), Grady Jarrett (Falcons) and Dee Ford (Chiefs) have already been tagged by their respective teams, but none of that comes as a shock.
Many believe if the Jets land a premier pass rusher in free agency they would trade down out of the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft this April.
If they do not sign a top pass rusher, though, and Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray is the No. 1 pick, the Jets could be in position to use the No. 3 pick to draft either Ohio State's Nick Bosa or Kentucky's Josh Allen to fill their pass rusher void.