The Houston Texans are on the cusp of commencing the 2014 season in a few weeks but there’s still one important person that they haven’t taken care of yet.
That’s none other than our J.J. Watt, our invaluable defensive end that has captivated the heart of the citizens of Houston and football fans alike worldwide.
There’s no doubt that the Texans appreciate all what he has done for the organization with his high-level of work ethic, his humble-like personality and his never-ending quest to make sure that he is a good steward of the community.
But it’s now time to pay the piper and reward him for all that he has done.
Watt is currently earning his pay off the rookie contract he signed back in 2010 which is roughly $2 to $3 million per season for a total compensation amount of about $11.2 million.
The Texans recently exercised their fifth-year option on the star, buying them some time and it does luckily offer him a pay boost for next season.
He will make approximately $6.9 million next year.
Watt, 25, had 10.5 sacks and 65 tackles in 2013. He is still fresh off a monster 2012 season where he earned Defensive Player of The Year honors and leading the NFL in sacks with 20.5 along with 69 tackles.
It was the determining factor as to why Johnson sat out during the mini-camp and organized team activities this past off season.
Johnson wants his money for next season guaranteed but the Texans can’t quite commit to that yet because of the fact that they must lock up Watt for a long time.
He is the face of the franchise.
Come on, when I think of the Texans, I think about the roar of a mighty warrior after a key sack, swatting footballs left and right, accentuated in his No. 99 jersey and giving his signature right-hand salute.
Texans’ owner Bob McNair has said that there’s work to be done ahead still keeping the team first and Watt’s price tag won’t be at a discount.
“It’s going to be a big contract,” McNair told ESPN’s Tania Ganguli. “If we can do something with him that makes sense for the team to do it early, we’ll certainly do it. It has to make sense for us. The team comes first. We want to keep all of our players. We want to take care of all or our players, but the team comes first.”
McNair was also asked if he would use the franchise tag on Watt.
“You’ve got guys in the Hall of Fame that have been franchised in back-to-back years,” said McNair. “The franchise tag is worth something to the team, and you can’t be afraid to use it.”
McNair isn’t afraid to use it but I certainly hope that he doesn’t.
It will demonstrate that the Texans are incapable of cementing a likely future Hall of Famer to be a Texan for a long time.
I urge the Texans not to do this because it may signal to Watt that he is not a priority and it may afford the opportunity for him to want to sign elsewhere, especially a team that does value his services.
If he does get the franchise tag after next season, his salary for that one year will be calculated with a formula that is based on the top five salaries at each position to which I find quite intriguing.
But I honestly don’t think they’ll get to that point.
They’ll have something lined up for him soon enough.
And J.J. Watt will be a Texan for a long time.
It will take some maneuvering but it will get done and it will stave off any negative fan reaction.
The ball is now in the Texans’ brass hands, let’s hope they drive the ball quickly down field for a touchdown that we all can be proud of.
He and Texans’ fans deserve it.