Laremy Tunsil has a cap hit $10.3 million on the fifth year of his rookie contract. Deshaun Watson has a cap hit of $4.4 million on the fourth year of his rookie contract. Houston currently has $61 million in cap space for this offseason.
Next offseason Tunsil will be a free agent, and Watson would be on the fifth year of his rookie contract, but quarterbacks are typically extended long before that. With these extensions imminent how do you think the Texans should handle this situation? Should they extend them this season to have greater future flexibility? Should they delay the extensions so they can invest more this season?
This is the question I asked the masthead. These were their responses.
Houston should lock down Tunsil now (or as soon as the CBA dust settles). They’re already all-in on him, so delaying it till next season very well could create ill-will with Tunsil and essentially put off a problem today by making it a bigger one tomorrow. Not to mention the longer they wait, the more expensive he will become and they’ve already paid a lot.
With Watson, I’d plan on extending him after the first round of free agent signings. Once the Texans know what they’re doing with positions of need, work on locking up the best quarterback in franchise history so he retires a Texan.
Granted, I’m neither a capologist nor a mathemagician.
I absolutely believe the Texans should sign both these guys to long term extensions post haste.
I believe that the Texans, Bill O’Brien specifically, need to show Tunsil and Watson that they are long-term centerpieces for the team. Especially after the way Jadeveon Clowney was run out for not being a BOB kind of guy, both of these players could similarly see that writing on the wall if their contracts are not quickly resolved.
Get ‘em resigned. Do not wait. Do not screw this one up, BOB.
When we look back on this squad in a couple of years, the Tunsil and Kenny Stills trade will be one of the marquee events that come to mind. Due to the capital that was invested, Tunsil should be resigned ASAP. He’s one of the most promising young players at his position in the entire NFL.
The same goes for Deshaun. The greatest quarterback in franchise history needs some greenbacks thrown his way. Without him, there is no window.
These are two of the most valuable players we have on the entire squad. Extending them now shows commitment to their future with the team. Having more flexibility this season would be nice, but the CBA should raise the cap by a decent amount.
Watson should be extended immediately for a myriad of obvious reasons. Not to mention, he singlehandedly saved O’Brien’s kitten the last three seasons.
I’m worried about Tunsil being considered a “BoB” guy with the latest news that he fired his agent because he wants his personal brand to extend into the entertainment industry. Perhaps he wants to be “Captain Vapor” in the next Marvel series.
If Tunsil is distracted by visions of grandeur and Hollywood fame, O’Brien might see him outside of his narrow-diameter circle of trust, regardless of excellence in on-field performances for the Texans. That being said, they invested too much draft capital not to secure him long term. Get it done now, because the prices always go up each year for any given talent.
As a Texans fan, I hope to see these two players enjoy a decade or more in Houston. As a player-supporting fan, I hope both of these players get max contracts and stick it to O’Brien hard, or reject ANY deal and escape the abyss of mediocrity swirling around NRG so they can go win championships with a more capable franchise.
I really don’t think the Texans have a choice but to extend both Laremy Tunsil and Deshaun Watson this offseason. Both play at premium money positions, both are young, both are presumably entering their prime, and both deserve a hefty raise. I don’t know the new CBA implications, but if conventional wisdom applies, their price tags will only go up from here.
Of course the problem here is you are gonna have two guys eating up a huge chunk of cap space, which will cause some tough decisions to be made. It seems unthinkable the Texans would unload J.J. Watt, but remember who is in charge - the Belichick disciple who hasn’t let feelings get in the way of football decisions. Or if not this season when Watt is slated to make $15.5 million - what if he has another half-productive, half-injured year this season and is then lined up to hit the field in 2021 at $17.5 million?
Tunsil of course has the Texans over a barrel considering what they gave up to get him, but I don’t necessarily think that will make his contract any easier. Watson I don’t see as a problem unless Bill O’Brien has just completely lost all grip on reality.