Deshaun Watson on Contract Talks: 'I'm Locked in on Being a Texan'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 2, 2020

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4)vduring the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Deshaun Watson has no plans to leave the Houston Texans as his rookie contract nears its end, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

"I'm here," Watson told reporters. "I love the organization. I love the McNairs. I love the city. I love the fan base. I'm a Houston Texan. I'm locked in on being a Texan."

The Texans picked up Watson's fifth-year option on his rookie deal in April, meaning he's tied to Houston through 2021 at the moment.

Wilson reported that a contract extension is not "imminent," per league sources, and that Watson would prefer a shorter deal to "ideally get him back to the negotiating table sooner in the future."

A holdout certainly isn't in Watson's future as he looks to prepare for the 2020 season.

"Football is the main focus," Watson said. "My agent is taking care of that. My main focus is being the quarterback and being the leader of this team. My main focus is staying healthy and making sure my team is ready to play."

Texans head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien expressed the team's interest in having Watson for the foreseeable future.

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"We're working hard," O'Brien said on a Zoom video call Friday, per Wilson. "We feel so strongly about him in this offense, in this organization. We want him here for a long time. We'd love to have Deshaun here."

In all likelihood, so would all Texans personnel and fans. The dynamic talent out of Clemson has led the Texans to back-to-back AFC South titles and a pair of playoff appearances in his lone two full seasons (2018 and 2019).

He entered the league in 2017 after guiding Clemson to the national title and fared well as a Texan rookie, accounting for 21 touchdowns (19 passing, two rushing) in seven games. Unfortunately, Watson suffered a torn ACL during a midseason practice and was forced to miss the remainder of the year.

He returned in 2018 and completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 26 touchdowns and 8.2 yards per attempt while leading Houston to an 11-5 record. The Texans lost in the playoffs to the Indianapolis Colts, but they returned to the postseason in 2019 and took down the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card Round.

Watson has arguably played the biggest role in the Texans' success since 2018, so on the surface, a lucrative contract in the near future seems like an inevitability.

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