The Houston Texans probably aren’t going very far in the future without a top level quarterback. While they still don’t have one, they also know they probably won’t go very far if they ever let stud defensive lineman J.J. Watt go. That’s why they extended him on Monday night.
Per reports, Watt and the Texans have agreed to a massive six-year, $100 million extension, making the 25-year old the highest paid defender in league history. Watt’s new deal bests former Texans defensive end Mario Williams, who secured a six-year, $96 million deal when he signed with the Buffalo Bills two years ago.
Easily one of the game’s elite performers on the defensive side of the football, Watt is absolutely deserving of the massive pay raise and extension, as he was arguably grossly over paid at just over $4 million per year on the final two years of his rookie deal. Now handsomely rewarded for his services, Watt can focus solely on being even better than he has been and getting the Texans (who were 2-14 a year ago) back into the playoff hunt.
That isn’t impossible in a weak AFC South division, where the Indianapolis Colts appear to be the only real competitor for the crown. Watt will probably need to get back closer to his 2012 form, however, when he nearly broke the single season record for quarterback sacks. Watt was still a consistent threat in 2013 despite a dip from the gaudy 21.5 sacks, as he topped 10 sacks for the second year in a row.
While quite an impressive pass rusher from the 3-4 defensive end spot, Watt has also made a positive impact against the pass as a disruptor, thanks to 27 deflected passes in his first three seasons. Watt has also developed into a very good run defender and has amassed a fairly remarkable 80+ tackles in back to back seasons.
With Brian Cushing back in the middle of the defense and rookie stud Jadeveon Clowney added to the mix with the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Houston could be back on the rise. Keeping Watt around for the next six years only ensures it.