The Houston Texans are locking up their franchise quarterback. Deshaun Watson agreed to a four-year, $156 million extension with the Texans on Saturday, according to Yahoo Sports’ Terez A. Paylor. The deal can max out at $160 million.
Watson, 24, has developed into a star after being selected by the Texans with the 12th pick in the 2017 NFL draft. In three seasons in the NFL, Watson has thrown for 9,716 yards and 71 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 1,233 yards and added 14 rushing scores. Watson made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons.
The deal will keep Watson in Houston through the 2025 NFL season. Watson will be 30 that year, and could receive another mega contract if he can continue playing at a high level. Prior to signing the extension, Watson was under contract with the Texans through the 2021 season. The team could have waited to sign Watson to the extension, but didn’t want to risk Watson getting closer to free agency.
With the move, Watson will be the highest-paid player in the NFL over the next four years.
Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson will make $39 million per year in base salary, on average, over the next four years, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL during that time frame.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 5, 2020
Watson will average $39 million per season over that period.
Watson’s deal also contains $111 million in guarantees, making it the second-largest total contract in NFL history. Patrick Mahomes owns the record after signing a 10-year, $503 million extension with the Kansas City Chiefs in July.
Deshaun Watson reacts to signing Texans deal
While Watson didn’t outright confirm the news, he hinted it was coming. Roughly a half hour before the news broke, Watson tweeted out an emoji wearing sunglasses.
😎— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) September 5, 2020
Watson later released a statement, saying he was “honored and humbled” to sign with the Texans.
More Glory! 🙏🏾 HOUSTON!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/u2D2o1ttIQ— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) September 5, 2020
With Watson signed long-term, the team will now need to focus on getting their young quarterback a ring. The Texans have made the playoffs twice under Watson, but have failed to advance past the divisional round. The team is still getting over a devastating loss to end the season. The Texans jumped out to a 24-point lead against the Chiefs in the divisional round, only to lose 51-31.
If Watson is hoping to get over that hump, he’ll likely have to contend with Mahomes and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson over the next five seasons. That should set up quite the three-way quarterback rivalry in the AFC.
Support for Deshaun Watson pours in
Later Saturday, the Texans held a Zoom news conference announcing Watson’s extension, which included numerous special guests.
Justin Verlander to Deshaun Watson: 'I'm so happy. Being able to go to games and sit in stadium and see you sign this extension, it's pretty special. Crazy how fast it comes. Thankful to call you a friend and watch you in Houston for a long time to come'— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 5, 2020
Ethan Hughes, Make-A-Wish participant who was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, played catch with Deshaun Watson at practice, now joining the Zoom: 'When that day finally came, you put me under your wing. You got paid and you deserve it'— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 5, 2020
The first thing Deshaun Watson heard from his mom when he called to tell her his new contract extension was done?— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) September 6, 2020
"She was like, ‘Congratulations, but hey, you’ve got a game to win Thursday and you have a championship to go get.”
Deshaun Watson deal bodes well for Dak Prescott
While the move should excite plenty of Texans fans, perhaps no one is more amped about the signing than Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. The 27-year-old has been seeking a long-term deal from the Cowboys for years, but the team has opted to tag Prescott the past two seasons.
Prescott signed his franchise tender for 2020 and will become a free agent after the season. Prescott was reportedly seeking $40 million per season prior to Watson’s extension. Prescott’s agent will almost certainly use Watson’s deal as a blueprint once Prescott starts fielding offers.
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