The Texans exercised their fifth-year option on defensive end J.J. Watt’s rookie contract earlier this year, which guarantees them two more years with one of the league’s best defensive players in their lineup.
As you’d imagine, the Texans are interested in continuing the relationship beyond that point. They aren’t sure right now which path will wind up providing the best value for them, however. Owner Bob McNair said that the team is open to using the franchise tag and even mentioned using it in consecutive years, although he’s hardly resigned until waiting until after the 2015 season to take care of things.
“It’s going to be a big contract. If we can do something with him that makes sense for the team to do it early, we’ll certainly do it,” McNair said, via ESPN.com. “It has to make sense for us. The team comes first. We want to keep all of our players. We want to take care of all or our players, but the team comes first.”
McNair’s comment on franchising Watt twice shows that the Texans aren’t opposed to paying Watt at a high level, which makes an early extension all the more practical since it will enable the team to make the deal more cap-friendly than it would be under the terms of the tag.