J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans agreed to a six year $100 million contract extension that will make the All-Pro pass rusher the NFL’s highest paid defensive player in the history of the league.
Watt’s contract outshines the previous highest defensive contract enjoyed by former Texans defensive end Mario Williams, who had a $96 million pact with Buffalo.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s website Chron.com, the 25-year-old Watt’s new deal will begin in 2016 and extend through the 2021 season. Included in the contract is a $51.876 million salary guarantee. Moreover, the 2012 NFL defensive player of the year will receive $10 million when he signs on Tuesday.
The extension calls for Watt’s base salaries for 2014 and in 2015 to be $907,385 and $9.969 million respectively. The 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft would have received $1.9 million this year and a $6.9 million in an option year in 2015 under his old contract. The deal puts to rest speculation that the team drafting Jadeveon Clowney meant Watt’s days in Houston were numbered because of salary cap numbers.
According to an article in Grantland.com, Watt is an old-school, all-work/no-play, kind of a guy. Reporter Robert Mays writes that his hard work paid off in 2012: “In his second year, he finished with a league-best 20.5 sacks, 39 tackles for loss, and 56 defeats — the highest total in the 17-year history of the stat. He was named Defensive Player of the Year, and many believed he was the league’s rightful MVP. It was a type of dominance not seen since the days of Lawrence Taylor.”
In 2013, although his number of sacks dropped to 10.5, he had 80 tackles, one less than the previous season. When his long arms aren’t dragging down quarterbacks, they’re blocking passes. The addition of Clowney will make it difficult for offenses to double-team Watt, which makes a return to 2012 form a likelihood. Houston may have had this possibility in mind when they pushed for the deal despite Watt having two years left on his old contract.