Houston Texans: Mercilus’ contract lined up with bonuses and guarantees

Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus has been re-signed and this deal is lined up with bonuses and incentives. What are the details? Let’s look.

Houston Texans fans — the smell of the playoffs is reeking in the air and luckily our home team will have the pleasure of being able to participate in the festivities once again.  They’ve done so for four out of the last six seasons so this is something that we’ve come to expect.

However, the bar has been raised and they need to get a playoff win — or two — on their belt because quite honestly, winning the division is not enough and they have to show progression as a football team.

I’m tired of one and done and it’s time for this team to show that they’re no longer just a begotten expansion team, the little brother of the Dallas Cowboys, who would be categorized as the 800-pound gorilla in terms of presence in this league.

I’ll be proudly wearing my Houston Texans AFC South Division Champions shirt tomorrow at NRG Stadium that has the sort of catchy tagline titled “The South is not Enough.”  It’s certainly the truth and what I’ve noticed is that they don’t have the year listed on the shirt as they’ve done in previous seasons.

This design is obviously signaling that celebrating division titles no longer matter but it’s what’s done in the postseason that will.

They will have their hands full against the Buffalo Bills but they’re certainly a team that they can beat.  Josh Allen will remain a dual-threat, while you have a talented pass-rusher in Ed Oliver — who is having a homecoming of sorts — and Kevin Johnson, who is likely seeking some revenge to prove that he belongs in this league.

But Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, hopefully, Will Fuller, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and the rest of the supporting cast will be giving all they have to help this team win their game.  Carlos Hyde and Gareon Conley will be participating in their first playoff game so their excitement will hopefully lead to some vast production out of the gridiron.

Okay, enough of the postseason talk.  Speaking of Mercilus, he received a nice, fat contract extension, didn’t he?

I thought it was well-deserved for a guy that’s likely going to have a spot in the Ring of Honor when he decides to hang it up in the future, being the best linebacker outside of Brian Cushing through his tenure with this team.

Mercilus deal is lined up with incentives and bonuses.  In fact, his four-year, $54 million deal has $28.5 million guaranteed and will include a $7.5 million signing bonus.

For the next four seasons, Mercilus will earn $10.5M in 2020, $10.5M in 2021, 12.75M in 2022

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and $12.25M in 2023.  The cap hit will be $12M, $12M, $14.75M and $14M respectively.

This definitely means that the Houston Texans have placed a bet that he will be extremely productive at least the next two seasons but doesn’t have any guarantees after that.  If they do pick up those last two seasons, or one, they’ll have a hefty cap hit on the books.

What are the chances that Mercilus will play out through this contract?  At age 29, I’d have to say it’s likely although it remains to be seen how strong his production will be four years from now.

It’s just good to know that one of my favorite players is back in the fold and hopefully he should get some votes for being the NFL’s Most Improved Player.

Next. Texans have a chance to avenge sports history against Bills. dark

Mercilus has amassed 48 tackles — 33 solos — along with 7.5 sacks, nine tackles-for-loss, 15 quarterback hits, two interceptions, four forced fumbles, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery heard around the world for an 86-yard return that we’ll never forget.  Mercilus appeared/started in all 16 games.