As of right now, Deshaun Watson will play the fourth year of his rookie contract in 2020. Watson is scheduled to make $4.4 million in 2020. In 2021, he is scheduled to play out the fifth and final year of his rookie contract at a salary of $17.5 million. Often, teams don’t let their franchise quarterbacks play the fifth year option out; they sign them to a long-term extension to keep everyone happy and ensure that chaos can’t step in and open the door for an early exit.
It was reported earlier that Watson was in contract extension discussions with the Texans along with Laremy Tunsil, who signed a three-year extension of his own two months ago. It doesn’t seem like an extension for Watson is imminent at the moment.
The current rumor is that Watson is pursuing a three-year contract extension with Houston instead of the five-year extension for $100 million plus that franchise quarterbacks usually sign. Pro Football Talk reports the following:
Per a league source, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is seeking a three-year extension of his own rookie deal, which expires after the 2021 season.
If that’s what the Texans do, the deal would put the 12th pick in the 2017 draft under contract for five total years, getting him in position for a third contract by the end of the 2024 season, with the possibility of the franchise tag for 2025 and, in theory, 2026.
Watson is still a long way from free agency. He could play out the fifth year of his rookie contract in 2021 and play under the franchise tag in 2022, but no team wants to sour relations with its star quarterback. It’s now looking likely that Watson will play a fourth year under that rookie contract in 2020, sign a three-year extension next offseason for something like three-years and $105 million (probably fully guaranteed), and then try to hit another big payday around his age 30 season. That’s smart business for the franchise quarterback.