The inevitable has just become full circle for the Houston Texans. For the first time, J.J. Watt, our heralded defensive end is sounding off vocally for the first time in regard to his current contract.
I talked recently about how deserving he is of an extension, take a look here.
He did so today after the Texans’ scrimmage against the Broncos in Denver for Saturday’s upcoming preseason match up.
The time to pay the piper has come and the Texans have a lot of work to do.
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.
Watt’s contract is currently on the 4th and last year aligned with the rookie contract he signed back in 2010, paying him roughly $3 to $4 million per season for a total compensation of $11.2 million.
The Texans recently exercised a fifth-year option to retain his services and he’ll receive a slight pay raise of $6.9 million next season.
Is that enough?
According to Watt, it isn’t.
While in practice today, Watt was working with a blocking sled that seemed to malfunction with each bone-jarring hit that he’d make to it. He was asked by a reporter if he’d have to pay for a new one if it broke.
“I don’t got that kind of money man,” Watt said. “Commercials only pay so much (inaudible).”
The quote is quite uncharacteristic of Watt who usually says the right thing and doesn’t cause any type of media firestorm. He clearly isn’t pleased with the way the negotiations are going and seems to want to expedite the process of getting a deal done. With guys such as Patrick Peterson, Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick having already received hefty extensions to their contracts, it seems quite puzzling for Watt as to why his hasn’t been done yet.
“When you look around the league and you see a couple guys from the 2011 draft class get contracts, it’s just nice to see appreciation being shown,” Watt said. “With the new (collective bargaining agreement), I think one of the goals was to make guys earn their pay. No more big paydays up front. … When a team gives a contract after the third year, they’re saying, ‘We think you’ve earned this.’ And so, I don’t know if (the Texans) feel that way or not. But I sure hope I’ve put in all the work and I’ve put in everything I can do to hopefully earn it.”
The Texans are currently cap poor with a lot of financial obligations to Andre Johnson, Brian Cushing and Arian Foster. However, if the salary cap ceiling is raised in the near future, more pressure will be put on the Texans brass to get that deal done.
How much of a payday will he get?
It has been said that his new extension is estimated to be greater or likely in-line with defensive end Mario Williams, who was signed away from the Texans by the Buffalo Bills to a six-year, $100 million deal back in 2012.
If that’s the case, Watt deserves every penny and he will get it.
It’s a matter of time but it needs to be done sooner than later. All in all, Watt loves to playing here and wants to remain a member of the Texans with providing the caveat that his deal needed to be shored up.
I couldn’t ask for a better place to play,” Watt said. “So I sure as heck hope that we can make something happen. … And I hope that I’ve given the effort and everything they could want to hopefully show that appreciation (back).”
I can’t think of an NFL player so underpaid and deserving of a raise…
Come on Texans, the heat is on and let’s sign him to MegaWatt deal that we all can be proud of.