Houston Texans & J.J. Watt: A Franchise Deal For A Franchise Player


The Houston Texans did the right thing.

You know why?

Over this past off season, it had become quite alarming in regard to why the Texans had stood pat on offering a contract extension to J.J. Watt, our heralded defensive end, who has captivated the hearts of many Houstonians over the past three years.

There were even talks of the Texans’ placing the franchise tag on him and that would’ve been the absolute worst thing that could happen.

I talked about that earlier this summer, take a look here.

J.J. Watt even sounded off about his concern about how the talks were going.

He only had to do so once…

That was the tipping point and it got taken care of.

The Texans signed the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year to a six-year, $100 million contract extension making him a Texan through the year 2021.  He will be in his early 30s when that contract runs out!

It’s deemed as the richest contract for a defensive player ever in professional football history!  Of that $100 million, $51.8 million will be guaranteed and at the high point of his contract in 2021,  the last year, he will get paid a whopping $17.5 million which is definitely a record.

Dec 22, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) warms up before the game against the Denver Broncos at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

It eclipses Mario Williams‘ deal that he signed back in 2012 which was then the record.

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

And I’m positive that he will earn every penny of it.

It’s quite rare that the Texans negotiate with players with time remaining on their contracts but the Texans felt that Watt is definitely the exception to their practices.

Texans’ owner Bob McNair was a little late showing up to the press conference and he jokingly admitted that it was because he was out hocking his wife’s jewelry just to pay him.

"“I had to go down to the pawn shop and hock my wife’s (Janice) jewels to come up with enough money to take care of this young man,” McNair said at the press conference Monday afternoon."

The best part of this deal is that it doesn’t put too much strain on the franchise’s ability to build for continuous improvement year-after-year.

General manager Rick Smith and vice president Chris Olsen negotiated the deal over the past few weeks with Tom Condon, J.J.’s agent.

"“With respect to this particular deal, it was our pleasure,” Smith said. “It was something that if we could get it structured in a way that didn’t compromise our ability to continue to build this team, then it was something we were going to do.”"

He also praised Olsen for being able to structure the contract in a way that it would not financially handcuff the organization.

"“Part of the negotiation is to ensure that we structure the deal in such a way that we protect ourselves as best we can with respect to (the cap),” Smith said. “Chris does a fantastic job of structuring our contracts and managing our salary cap, especially as we move forward where this deal won’t impede us from continuing to build this team.”"


Who knows what the salary cap will be in the next upcoming years?

With the U.S. Dollar continuing to inflate, I imagine that it will be much higher than $133 million, this season’s figure.

Regardless, the Texans were able to mitigate a possible nasty situation and put it to bed before the start of the season.

Watt got teary-eyed at moments during the press conference as he expressed his satisfaction modestly with the substantial pay raise he just received.

"“I hope the people of Houston don’t mind me sticking around for a little while longer because I happen to like it here quite a bit,” Watt said. “I promise to do everything in my power, to work extremely hard, to give everything that I have to prove that I deserve this and to prove that I’ve earned this.”"

I have no doubt that he will.

More from Houston Texans

So Mega Watt gets signed to a Mega Deal — it’s good to know he’ll be around for the next decade or so.

The next thing I want to see is Watt retiring as a Texan and his No. 99 jersey lifted to the rafters of NRG Stadium or whatever it will be called then.

It would be a harmonious ending to story that is the epitome of the American Dream.

Whether he knows it or not, he is living that dream.

Good luck J.J. and go Texans!