Just past the stroke of midnight, the Texans dropped a bombshell. The Houston Texans have agreed to a contract extension with All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt, as first reported by the Houston Chronicle's John McClain and posted about here by Brett Kollmann.
Texans have agreed in principle to long term extension with JJ Watt.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 2, 2014
While the Texans were in Colorado, Watt mentioned "sure, [he] would like to be" extended like fellow members of the 2011 draft class - Patrick Peterson and Colin Kaepernick, to name two.
McClain reported that Watt's agent Tom Condon, Texans general manager Rick Smith ,and vice president of football administration Chris Olsen worked on an extension for weeks in an effort to get a deal done before the regular season started. It's been a busy few weeks for Condon; he also finished a deal earlier this week to extend Kansas City Chief starting quarterback Alex Smith to the tune of $ 68 million over four years.
The Texans' top defensive player had two years left on his rookie contract that would take him through the 2015 season. Had a deal not gotten done, Houston would have been able to use the franchise tag on Watt for two more years after Watt's rookie contract expired. But, as the Texans have previously shown, they are willing to work with top players like Andre Johnson, Brian Cushing, and Arian Foster, all of whom they resigned before they had to.
Watt easily outplayed his contract, winning the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year award, finishing in the top two in tackles for loss the past two seasons, and collecting 33.5 sacks over that same timeframe.
The specific numbers on Watt's extension:
JJ Watt gets a six-year extension worth $100 million including guaranteed money worth $51.8 million— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) September 2, 2014
The $51.8 million guaranteed is the largest in history for a defensive player in NFL history. This deal also makes Watt the highest-paid defensive player in history, surpassing former Texan Mario Williams' six-year, $96 million contract signed in 2013.