The Houston Texans are exploring the possibility of trading Jadeveon Clowney as he continues his holdout. The only problem is the team can’t trade the star defensive end if he doesn’t sign the franchise tag.

Clowney has no financial motivation to stay at home. He can’t negotiate a long-term contract until the end of the 2019 NFL season, and he’ll forfeit $1 million for every game that he misses. Still, it sounds like there’s a good chance the veteran won’t report to Houston for the start of the season.

Both Ian Rapoport and Mike Garrafolo of NFL Network have reported that Clowney is willing to miss regular-season games. Extending his holdout would cost Clowney money, but it would also keep him from being traded to an undesirable destination. 

The Texans are scheduled to visit the New Orleans Saints on “Monday Night Football” in Week 1. Houston can’t move Clowney if he refuses to sign the franchise tag until after the Oct. 29 trade deadline.

The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson reported Wednesday that the Texans have spoken with the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and New York Jets about a potential trade. Houston reportedly allowed Clowney to meet with Miami head coach Brian Flores to discuss the possibility of playing for the Dolphins.

Clowney might not welcome a trade to the Dolphins, who could be the NFL’s worst team in 2019. The Eagles and Seahawks are expected to be playoff contenders, though it’s uncertain if either team has a strong interest in working out a trade with the Texans.

Houston has emerged as the favorite to win the AFC South in light of Andrew Luck’s retirement. The Texans have finished in first place in three of the last four seasons with one playoff win during that time. 

Clowney made the Pro Bowl for the second time in three seasons last year, totaling nine sacks and 47 tackles. He’s earned $35.5 million in his five-year NFL career.

Jadeveon Clowney Houston Texans J.J. Watt #99, Jadeveon Clowney #90, Christian Covington #95, Zach Cunningham #41, and D.J. Reader #98 of the Houston Texans celebrate after Clowney recovered a fumble against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images