Star defensive end J.J. Watt has become one of the cornerstone pieces of the Houston Texans through his first several seasons. Watt is regarded as one of the top defensive players in the league that has earned a lucrative contract that pays him like one over the last few years. However, he is nearing the tail end of his deal that has brought into question his long-term future with the franchise. Watt has quickly taken the approach to not ask for a new lucrative deal this offseason for a particular reason.
J.J. Watt’s impressive NFL career
Since entering the league as the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft, J.J. Watt has more than lived up to the hype.
He has put together what should be a Hall of Fame career that has seen him capture NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, five First-Team All-Pro selections, five Pro Bowl nominations, and has led the league in sacks twice through his first nine years.
Watt has been hit by injury bug over the last few seasons with playing eight or fewer games three times in the last four years, but it hasn’t derailed his impact when healthy. He’s a season removed from posting 16.0 sacks that helped him nearly earn the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
However, it has been hard to avoid the questions around his contract situation as he heads into the fifth year of his six-year, $100 million deal. Watt has quickly come out to state why he isn’t pushing for another extension at this point.
Why J.J. Watt isn’t demanding an extension from the Texans
The Texans have been one of the busiest teams this offseason that has seen them make several notable moves.
Among those was the lucrative three-year, $66 million extension that they handled to Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil. That brought forth questions about Watt’s upcoming contract talks that he voiced this week that he knows how tough things have been, and that feels he is no position to demand anything. (H/T Yahoo Sports)
“No, I don’t think that’s necessary,” Watt told reporters in a conference call. “I think that I fully understand and respect the situation that I’m in and what has happened the past few years.
“So I’m not going to sit here and demand anything. … I think if I went back and asked for an extension or more money right now, I think that would be the wrong move.”
It’s not often that a star player takes this route as he has some strong self-checking about where he’s at in his career. It has been a bumpy road with injuries and in many ways he hasn’t lived up to the billing due to that.
J.J. Watt knows what’s coming ahead
It may be more than self-awareness with his production and availability on the field through the first four years of his extension that J.J. Watt is considering these comments.
Although Watt’s deal runs through the 2021 season that will pay him $33 million over that span, the Texans have no dead cap hits in either of those campaigns. It’s unlikely that Houston will head that route with moving on from another star player, but that certainly doesn’t work in the 31-year-old’s favor.
There is also the expectation that the Texans will hammer out a lucrative extension with star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is heading into the fourth year of his rookie deal. Any decision from him to demand more money could take away what the team can offer Watson on his upcoming extension.
It’s a situation with many factors at play, but Watt knows his place and where he stands in it all.