No contract extension imminent for Houston Texans star J.J. Watt
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has established himself as one of the face’s of the league over the past decade. But despite having spent the past nine seasons terrorizing opposing quarterbacks as a member of the Texans, Watt doesn’t expect to receive a contract extension anytime soon.
From NFL Now: #Texans DE JJ Watt told reporters he's not anticipating a new contract extension… which makes sense for an organization that still wants to pay QB Deshaun Watson a very huge lot of money at some point. pic.twitter.com/RE5OSfqppY
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 28, 2020
Houston doesn’t need to be particularly rushed about securing a contract extension for Watt, since he remains under his current deal through the 2021 year. Set to make $15.5 million this upcoming season, before netting $17.5 million next year, the Texans do not face the prospect of losing Watt until he becomes an unrestricted free agent ahead of the 2022 campaign.
The money is not guaranteed, however, so there could be some question about whether or not the Texans will retain his services through the end of his current contract.
Vital to securing said contract extension would be remaining on the field. After winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors three times in his first five seasons, Watt has played in more than eight regular-season outings just once in the last four years.
Having put up prolific numbers during his nine seasons in Houston, Watt has run into a string of ailments that have kept him off the field for the vast majority of play since 2016.
In addition to Watt’s injury history, Houston also faces the reality of likely needing to pony up funds for quarterback Deshaun Watson’s contract extension. With the quarterback market rising on a yearly basis, paying to keep Watson in Houston may be pricy, thereby throwing Watt’s future into flux.
The Texans made a plethora of moves to tinker with their roster heading into 2020, but Watt will enter the year healthy and be viewed as one of the remaining cornerstones for a team looking to get over the postseason hump.