The Houston Texans have agreed in principle to a six-year, $100 million extension with superstar defensive end J.J. Watt. This deal couldn’t have come at a better time, because the Texans don’t like to work out contracts during the season. Watt’s agent Tom Condon was in a race against time to get his high-profile client one of the biggest deals in NFL history, and he beat the deadline.
Watt had made it known publicly that he was dissatisfied with his current deal which only paid him a a base salary of $1.9 million in 2014, with a $6.9 option in 2015. He was also well aware that his 2011 draft-class colleagues CB Patrick Peterson and OT Tyron Smith had reached extensions with their respective teams for $70 million and $98 million respectively, both of which were also given at least $40 million guaranteed.
Watt surely is not on a lower tier when compared to those players, and he’s earned the reputation for being the league’s most athletic, defensive freak of a player. Watt has been a terror on defense in his first three NFL seasons with the Texans, and he’s already racked up 36.5 sacks to prove his worth. Last season, he took a step back with only 10.5 sacks, but those numbers only appear low when compared with his 20.5 sacks in the previous season.
Watt is far more than a pass rusher because, over the last two seasons, he’s led the league in run-stops with a total of 38. Watt bats down passes with his huge paws as well, so he can disrupt the passing game in more than one way.
With his new deal set to begin during the 2016 season, where does his nine-figure salary place him in regards to the highest paid player at his position? Two years ago, the Buffalo Bills gave DE Mario Williams a six-year, $96 million contract with $50 million guaranteed. This means that Watt and Condon have just successfully completed the largest deal in NFL history for a defensive player. Watt will make $51.876 million in guarantees, and I’m sure that he’ll have enough spare change in his wallet to take his teammates out for the traditional big-contract steak dinner.
Ironically, Williams was also drafted by the Texans back in 2006 when he was selected in front of Reggie Bush to shore up the Texans’ D-line. I guess that everything is bigger in Texas as the old adage goes. Even earning potential for those long-tall Texans.