Deshaun Watson signs four-year, $156 million extension with Texans

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.

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 flexes to celebrate a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson got a four-year extension worth a max of $160 million. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

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.

Watson later released a statement, saying he was “honored and humbled” to sign with the Texans.

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.

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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