First overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans on Friday agreed to terms on a four-year deal worth $22.72 million guaranteed, including a signing bonus of $14.518 million.
Clowney is expected to instantly become a key chess piece in the Texans' 3-4 defense under coordinator Romeo Crennel. Clowney will play outside linebacker in the base defense, then drop down and rush with his hand in the dirt on obvious passing situations. He has the benefit of facing offensive lines that have focused on containing perennial defensive player of the year candidate J.J. Watt, who will rotate all around the front seven, Crennel said.
Clowney is eager to get started because he believes he's got something to prove after being so heavily criticized after recording only three sacks as a junior at South Carolina last season.
"I want to learn," Clowney said. "I want to be great. Now that I'm in the NFL, hopefully, I'll be a Hall of Famer someday."
---Former New York Giants safety Will Hill signed with the Arena League's Arizona Rattlers.
Hill, who was slated to start in the Giants' secondary this season, was waived by the team on Monday after reportedly getting suspended six games for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
According to reports, Hill had a year-long ban reduced to six games after his third violation following an appeal. The Giants then cut ties with him.
---New York may be out of the running to host next year's draft. It was reported Thursday that Chicago, Los Angeles and New York were the frontrunners as potential hosts for the 2015 NFL Draft.
However, scheduling the draft at Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center as alternative sites in New York for three days presents challenges because of scheduling conflicts involving the New York Rangers and Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.
ESPN reported that the NFL met Friday to discuss possible sites for the draft. Aside from Chicago and Los Angeles, the league is also considering Boston, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
---The San Francisco 49ers have quarterback Colin Kaepernick under contract, but negotiations with coach Jim Harbaugh on an extension have stalled.
According to NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk, the 49ers made an offer to Harbaugh, but he has not responded to it.
Harbaugh is signed through the 2015 season. A previous effort last year to extend his contract failed. He could opt out early but has publicly insisted he will remain with the 49ers for the final two years of his deal.
---The Cincinnati Bengals claimed wide receiver Jasper Collins off waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Collins, who is in his second year in the league out of Division III Mount Union University, was signed as an undrafted free agent last year by the Miami Dolphins. He was placed on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in training camp. Collins later signed with the Cleveland Browns on their practice squad after reaching an injury settlement with Miami. He was later released and signed by Pittsburgh to a futures contract in February.
---The Cleveland Browns released linebackers Quentin Groves and Larry Grant.
Groves, 29, had one year remaining on his two-year, $2.8 million contract that he signed in March of last year. In 2013, Groves appeared in five games and totaled four tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve following an ankle injury.
Grant, 29, signed with the Browns two weeks ago. He is a six-year veteran who appeared in two games with the Chicago Bears last season.