JJ Watt Contract: Latest News and Rumors on Negotiations with TexansAugust 19, 2014
Updates from Sunday, Aug. 31
Bleacher Reports' Jason Cole reports the Texans' potential route for retaining J.J. Watt within the organization:
After becoming arguably the top defensive lineman in the NFL, J.J. Watt is looking for a new contract with the Houston Texans.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle provides the latest info on the situation:
Watt, 25, has seen other players from the 2011 draft class receive major deals and hopes to be next. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports shared some of his comments:
It's been great to see some of these  guys get deals, because it shows that their teams appreciate what work they put in. You work extremely hard in this league to do as well as you can and hopefully earn that respect and to earn that appreciation.
I hope that I've worked hard enough and hopefully I've put myself in a situation where I can be shown some of the same appreciation. Hopefully they feel I've outplayed my current contract, but the end of the day, we're paid to play football. If I got paid a little more, I wouldn't be terribly upset.
Watt is set to make a base salary of $1.9 million this season and just under $7 million in 2015 before becoming a free agent in 2016, per Spotrac.com.
While the superstar is doing his best to say the right things, it's clear he deserves to be paid like the elite player he has become.
After starting every game for the Texans as a rookie in 2011, Watt truly broke out in 2012 when he led the NFL with 20.5 sacks. He also added 16 pass deflections and four forced fumbles to help him earn the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award.
The defensive end's numbers dropped in 2013, as he finished the season with 10.5 sacks, seven pass deflections and four forced fumbles, but he was still named first-team All-Pro for the second year in a row. Pro Football Focus noted how dominant he was compared to other players at the position:
Even though Houston finished 2-14 last season, Watt's level of play did not decrease much, if at all.
This poor record gave the Texans the first overall pick in the 2014 draft, which the organization used on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. He should be able to pair with Watt to create one of the most imposing defensive end tandems in the NFL.
On the other hand, the franchise will now have a safety net to replace Watt if negotiations do not go well. Although that isn't likely to be the Texans' first choice, having a potential star to replace a current star is never a bad thing.
Still, Watt seems intent on remaining in Houston for the foreseeable future. The squad should do whatever it takes to lock him up for the long term.
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