O'Brien said the Texans are hoping to get an extension done with Watson in the near future, saying “We obviously want Deshaun to be our quarterback for a long time.”
Bill O'Brien on wanting to sign Deshaun Watson to a long-term deal before the season: 'Anytime we can get something done with Deshaun, that would be great. We have a great relationship with Deshaun and his agent. We obviously want Deshaun to be our quarterback for a long time.'
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 25, 2020
Ed Werder of ESPN reported Friday the Texans have had “very preliminary” talks with their franchise quarterback, who is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract.
The Texans might hope to reach a long-term contract with Watson. But it seems more likely they will exercise the fifth-year option to keep him under control through 2021. The team can continue negotiating thereafter.
Although O'Brien stated he wants Watson as his quarterback, he has not always acted in Watson's best interest this offseason.
O'Brien made one of the most shocking moves of the new league year, trading All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson and a host of draft considerations.
Houston's head coach subsequently signed slot receiver Randall Cobb and–in another head-scratcher–traded a second-round pick to acquire Brandin Cooks' massive contract from the Los Angeles Rams.
Watson will certainly have some adjustments to make without Hopkins, though Cobb and Cooks have certainly been productive in previous seasons.
The former Clemson star did receive some good news on Friday. The Texans agreed to an extension with left tackle Laremy Tunsil, ensuring protection for Watson's blindside. This is especially imperative considering Houston has struggled to protect Watson in recent years.
In any case, O'Brien has a stated desire to ink Watson to an extension.