Deshaun Watson Focused on Being 'Best Teammate' Amid Texans Contract Talks

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 30, 2020

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 12: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans throws a pass down field in the second half of during the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Deshaun Watson is entering a crucial season with the Houston Texans

The team has already picked up the quarterback's fifth-year option, and he's due to make $17.5 million in 2021 but will enter free agency following that campaign if he doesn't get a new deal first.

When asked about contract talks Friday, Watson didn't sound too concerned, per Fox 26's Mark Berman:

"My main focus is just being the best teammate, best leader, best quarterback I can be and whenever that time comes with my agent and the organization, the timing is going to be right. They're going to make sure they handle it well. For me right now, the focus is on being the best teammate, getting the new guys on the same page with me as the quarterback of this offense and making sure I'm staying healthy and ready to go whenever they call me, call us in to go play."

On April 24, Ed Werder of ESPN reported that Houston had "engaged in 'very preliminary' discussions with QB Deshaun Watson on a potential contract extension."

Over his first three seasons, Watson has passed for more than 3,800 yards twice (he suffered a torn ACL in November of his 2017 rookie year), finishing with 4,165 yards in 2018. Though he tossed a career-high 12 interceptions last season, he scored 26 touchdowns for the second straight year and led his team to a second consecutive postseason berth. 

Houston traded star wideout DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, but the team should still challenge for its fifth AFC South title in the last six years. Watson is looking to earn a third straight Pro Bowl nod after being named to the roster in 2018 and 2019.

Watson's contract status will draw plenty of eyes as another quarterback in his draft class, reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, is due for an extension that could make him the highest-paid player in league history. He is expected to command $36.3 million annually, according to Spotrac.

Watson's market value is listed at $35.7 million annually ($179 million over five years). That would make him the second-highest-paid QB in the league behind Mahomes.

In any case, Watson isn't letting his contract talks distract from his team's mission in 2020.