Deshaun Watson Rumors: Texans Hope to Sign QB to New Contract Before Season

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 15, 2020

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4)calls out to his players at the line of scrimmage during an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

The Houston Texans are looking to lock in quarterback Deshaun Watson to a long-term deal and have given themselves less than a month to do so.

According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans are hoping to sign both Watson and linebacker Zach Cunningham to extensions before their Week 1 contest on September 10. 

Watson's rookie deal is set to expire after the 2021 season. Following Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signing a massive extension in early July for more than $500 million, the NFL's focus quickly turned to whether Watson was next. 

At the time, the Chronicle's Aaron Wilson reported no deal was "imminent" for the Houston QB and that Watson's preference was for a shorter-term deal. 

"It's exciting for all of us," Watson previously said of extension talks. "Only time will tell, but we're going to do everything we can to make sure it's on the right track. We're going to win a lot of games and championships while we continue to figure out that side of the business, too."

The No. 12 overall pick in 2017 has earned two Pro Bowl nods and led the Texans to an AFC South title each of the past two years. He's also passed for 9,716 yards, 71 touchdowns and 29 interceptions while rushing for 1,233 yards and 14 scores since entering the league. 

Spotrac.com's Market Value tool predicts he could sign for five years, $197.9 million, or the equivalent of $39.6 million per season, giving him the second-highest average salary behind Mahomes ($45 million per year). 

Cunningham, the Texans' second-round pick in 2017, has tallied 339 combined tackles in 46 games with 13 pass deflections, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one touchdown. Spotrac predicts he'll earn $12.3 million per season on his next deal.