Houston Texans on track to offer Watson and Tunsil massive pay raises

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and left tackle Laremy Tunsil (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and left tackle Laremy Tunsil (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans are on track offer Deshaun Watson and Laremy Tunsil massive pay raises and will still have some cash leftover. What’s the latest?

The Houston Texans are about two weeks into free agency and they’ve done a lot of moving and shaking.  Gone are the days of yesteryear where the franchise would sit quietly on the sidelines, idling while the rest of the NFL is out making great deals to improve their team.

We’re now in the Bill O’Brien era — not only in coaching but with him being the general manager as well.  As you know, he has complete control over football operations and he’ll have the final say in major decisions with executive vice president Jack Easterby providing as much counsel as possible.

His era has already included trades involving jettisoning Jadeveon Clowney, acquiring Carlos Hyde, Laremy Tunsil as well as Kenny Stills but the one that smarts the most is the swap of DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson.  A second-round pick was included in the latter deal but it still doesn’t make up for the talent that he’s given up.

Now O’Brien will be faced with replacing his No. 1 receiver in the draft because it’s hard to envision Randall Cobb as a guy that you’d line up on the outside opposite Will Fuller at this stage of his career.

The problem is that if a rookie is brought in, he’ll have to be groomed.  The only way Bill looks successful out of something like this is if he finds a receiver — they don’t have a first-rounder this season — that’s a plug-and-play type.  He needs to be at the ready to help this team win games.

Will that happen?  O’Brien’s mettle is about to be tested within this draft and he won’t tell you that wide receiver is a need because it displays a sign of weakness if something like that is admonished.  You’re going to definitely hear him say that they’re going for the best player available.

But all bets are on that O’Brien is going with a wide receiver with the 57th pick in the second-round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Just wait and see…

In the meantime, the team still has some money to spend and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that they have about $20 million left in the bank to spend with the NFL’s latest salary-cap figure — $198.2 million — being released after their hot off the press collective bargaining agreement became official.

Wilson says the Houston Texans have earmarked a large portion of their spending this season to offer massive extensions to quarterback Deshaun Watson and Tunsil.  Just based on the figures he’s thrown around, it could top $300 million over at least the next half-decade for those two.

That’s a hefty payday for those two but it’s wildly deserved because this team would not nearly have won as many games without them.  It’s hard to find talent on the offensive line and Tunsil should be paid as such.

As for Watson, who would technically become a free agent in 2021 if the fifth-year option wasn’t

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exercised, there’s absolutely no doubt that this franchise would allow him to even sniff free agency, trying to get him locked for a deal that’ll pay him in upwards of about $40 million per season once it kicks in.

Tough decisions will continue to have to be made but I’m hopeful this team remains to be competitive while that’s going on.

That’s why I preached profusely that the Houston Texans had a tight window to win out on the cheap while Watson was on his cheap rookie deal so now things are going to be tougher with all of the talent that has been assembled over the years.

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Let’s see how this shakes out but it will interesting to see where the Houston Texans go from here once the dust settles from the offseason.