NFL Houston Texans

5 Takeaways From J.J. Watt Contract Extension

5 Takeaways From J.J. Watt Contract Extension

J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Watt's new six-year, $ 100 million contract makes him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. At first, it sounds like nothing more than a great achievement for the fourth-year defensive end. But after further thought, this deal reflects greater league-wide implications.

5. J.J. Watt Is Better Than Ever

J.J. Watt Scream, Houston Texans - Copy
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

5. J.J. Watt Is Better Than Ever

J.J. Watt Scream, Houston Texans
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

You don’t just hand someone a nine-figure contract. The Houston Texans fully believe Watt is back to his 2012 form in which he racked up 20.5 sacks. He will lead this defense back to the elite level they are capable of playing.

4. Texans Don't Trust Offense

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

4. Texans Don't Trust Offense

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans are more talented than they get credit for. Sure, they only won two games last season, but they won 12 the year before. Nine of the team’s 14 losses last year were decided by one score, meaning they’re close to being good. But they don’t trust their offense to bridge that gap, so instead of surrounding their quarterback with playmakers to score more, they’re focusing their attention on giving up fewer points.

3. Football Is More Popular Than Ever

Football Crowd
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3. Football Is More Popular Than Ever

Football Crowd
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Few players in NFL history have been fortunate enough to see a $ 100 million contract. That achievement has been reserved for the absolute best of the best. But as the salary cap continues to rise, this could start becoming a more common trend. This is able to happen because the NFL has more money now due to higher contracts with TV networks, which is due to higher viewership. In other words, more people are watching football than ever before.

2. Passing Importance Reaches All-Time High

J.J. Watt Sack Andrew Luck
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Passing Importance Reaches All-Time High

J.J. Watt Sack Andrew Luck
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Not only are we seeing quarterbacks passing for 5,000 yards consistently, but we’re seeing an increased focus on pass-rushers. The NFL is seeing more dangerous defensive ends and aggressive 3-4 defenses with elite pass-rushing outside linebackers than ever before. Don’t be surprised to see four or five quarterbacks pass for more than 5,000 yards and also see Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record go down.

1. Running Backs Will Return to Forefront

LeSean McCoy, Adrien Peterson
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

1. Running Backs Will Return to Forefront

LeSean McCoy, Adrien Peterson
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Just like in nature, when one entity becomes dominant, another emerges. With Watt as the measuring stick for pass-rushers, players will model their game after his techniques. As defenses continue to shift their focus to opposing quarterbacks, the game will devolve back to a more ground-oriented offense. Just like evolution, this won’t happen immediately.

Chris Lehman is a New Orleans Saints Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBreezy91, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google