Texans keep waiting to reward Watt


The Houston Texans have 99 problems but No. 99 ain’t one.


Defensive end J.J. Watt, a 2011 defensive rookie of the year candidate and the 2012 NFL defensive player of the year, became eligible for a new contract upon completion of the 2013 regular season.  But the Texans have shown no inclination to sign him to a long-term contract.

Instead, the man who’ll make $1.9 million in 2014 will make $6.9 million in 2015 under the fifth-year option that the Texans had the right to exercise under the labor deal.  While hardly chump change, the Texans arguably are treating Watt like a chump by not rewarding him now for his contributions and potential.

Meanwhile, the Texans hope that Watt — whose rookie contract pays out $11.2 million over four years — will serve as a mentor to rookie defensive end Jadeveon Clowney — who pocketed $14.5 million with the stroke of a pen despite never taking a snap in the NFL.

Watt’s case arguably is the most glaring for a league that has yet to sign any of the 2011 first-round picks to second contracts.  In a year featuring plenty of holdouts, none of them have taken a stand.  It will be interesting to see whether the patience demonstrated by Watt and others will run out if the offseason clock expires without new deals being given to any of the guys picked at the top of the first draft that, thanks to the rookie wage scale, paid them a lot less than they would have earned a year earlier.

39 responses to “Texans keep waiting to reward Watt

  1. Theses guys are overpaid but come on, the rookie is making more the JJ. That’s ridiculous and if I were JJ I’d sit it out until new contract is signed. He’s earned that respect.

  2. Wait…he’s not only signed for ALL of this year, but ALL of next year…and yet the team should rip that up and pay him 2-3x as much?


  3. Just McNaire, R Smith, and Obrien showing how smart they are again. If history is any indicator, they will wait for him to be over the hill or hurt, and then give him a huge contract.

  4. I’m sure they will take care of the NEW face of the franchise. The Texans have never been know for being cheap. In their short history , the guys that needed to be paid were paid.

  5. Maybe he doesnt want an extension.
    Maybe he wants to be a free agent and join a team with an actual chance of winning the SB because they have a QB.

  6. .
    Watt has given the Texans four years of high level play for 11.2 million while Clowney received 14.25 million without even showing up. These situations can disrupt team chemistry.

  7. My god. Just pay the guy. Rip up his contract and pay him. Rules need to change. Look, if you’re a stud you should get paid like one. If you aren’t, you shouldn’t. It’s that simple.

  8. Wait…he’s not only signed for ALL of this year, but ALL of next year…and yet the team should rip that up and pay him 2-3x as much?



    Because they would cut him in a heartbeat if the opposite were true. And that’s the problem.

  9. colv says:

    That’s ridiculous and if I were JJ I’d sit it out until new contract is signed.

    Perhaps he’s also concerned with helping his team instead of holding out in a huff. Interesting concept in the 2014 society, I know.

  10. Let’s just give all players incentive based contracts only. That’ll solve the problem. Not sure how changing any rules will help at all. Sucks for Watt but guys get paid more for being drafted higher. That’s the system. If he wants to holdout, fine, I totally get that & wouldn’t begrudge him that. Just not sure what rules are causing this.

  11. I’m surprised NFL players aren’t outside of DeMaurice Smith’s house with pitchforks.

  12. Let’s give the Texans front office some credit.

    Smith is a very good GM and certainly understands the value of having a Watt on the team and won’t allow him to wander off into free agency, and if they thought he was unhappy, they would reach a deal now.

    JJ is also smart and knows the Texans/Smith will reward him appropriately. Pretty good bet that they are already working a deal outside of the public eye.

    If we have learned anything from the Texans’ front office it’s that they don’t negotiate in public, it’s behind closed doors, as it should be.

  13. I guess it takes a chump to know one.

    Apparently you’re not aware of the Texans empty bank account (salary cap).

    Rick Smith is one of the worst GMs and is basically a right hand to the owner and Head Coach. Smith does what they want done.

  14. When the league started allowing cap dollars to roll over from year to year, it started making less and less sense to do early extensions. Now, paying extra money this year reduces your potential future cap. Prudent cap managers will likely advocate not to extend anyone’s contract before they’re in the last year of a deal and let more players play through their free agency season and try to negotiate before the end of the league year.

  15. It’s just business. He is an employee. He deserves more money, but it’s up to the team. They have the option to cut him at any time just like he has the option to retire any time.

  16. I have not heard any inkling of Watt being upset or impatient, and the Texans know how valuable Watt is. He’s the face of the organization right now–they’re not going to let him walk anytime soon, and he knows that he will soon become the highest paid defensive player of all time. Let’s all just be patient. Watt isn’t going anywhere, and he’ll get paid handsomely.

  17. Watt is the best D-end in the game and the Texans no doubt have plans on taking care of him, but when? I, personally, would pay Watt before he has a chance to make any more pro bowls. It would probably be cheaper in the long run.

  18. This is exactly what the Texans & other teams should do. Play out your first contract & get paid when the time comes. Why should teams negotiate a new deal after 3 seasons when they have a player under contract for 5 with the option? And possibly 7 years if the use the franchise tag.

    No matter how great the player is, there is little to no reason to negotiate a new contract with 2 years remaining on the current one. Players are getting paid anyways.

  19. Football fans are so delusional. You pay him because that’s what you do, you reward people for their hard work and you pay him a fair market wage. I imagine next year it will get sticky between players and management, since this is the first year, next year the players will know exactly what game management is playing and then two can play that game. The owners are showing their true colors. No team friendly deals, no deals at all. A lot of false promises given. The fifth year option will get a massive tinkering next CBA.

  20. We all know that #99 has been the most popular disruptive FORCE in the league now the past two years. That, and he’s easily the Texans made tens of millions in jersey sales. I can’t imagine the Texans whiffing on this. Then again…they gave $60mil to Matt Schaub :-/

  21. Ravenswhat,

    So what? The players dont have it as good as teams do. Everyone knows youll be cut for poor performance and not always rewarded for outperforming your contract…may not be “fair,” but if the players dont want to deal with it, dont play in the NFL. Theres always going to be someone else to take that “unfairness.”

    The nfl will go on without jj watt (or any other player) if he doesnt want to play.

  22. Managing Cap dollars is a job for a math wiz with NFI, PUP, IR, rookie contracts, FA signings, franchise tags, bonus $, extensions…etc. The goal is to build the best team of 53 players with dollars allotted. Huge contracts for one guy messes that up. At least the Texans are spending the money. What about the teams that don’t even come close? They are either cheap or don’t know how to draft & develop players that earn a big contract.

  23. JJ was a rookie at one point also and he made more money thank the vet next to him. The rookies salary goes up each year,so for all of you that are talking about the rookie making more money thats true but if JJ was the rookie now he would be making more. So if you dont no how it works just keep your mouth shut.

  24. Pay him or trade him for a pair of first round picks. At least one team will bite at the opportunity to have him.

  25. 81st in tackles. 16th in sacks. Two tackles, zero sacks against Jerome Clary. Zero tackes, zero sacks against St Louis. Indy- zero tackles, zero sacks. Denver- zero tackles, zero sacks.

    Good player, but….Maybe let’s wait on the Hall Of Fame voting.

  26. Props to Texans making best draft pick on Watts… It makes me wonder, if Watts do get new contract and/or extension contract. Will the Jets Mo Wilkerson DE/NT/DT will get more money than Watt? or equal or less? Mo play alot more variety position than Watt does, and the way I see it in past, alot players gonna use that “hybrid” multi position to get more money in new contract… So it be interesting debates between Mo and Watt, which will have more money contract..

    BTW, Watts and Mo were drafted in same year, while Mo at 31st pick…

  27. You’re assuming Watt wants to extend. He might want to see how the Texans plan to utilize him in their new defensive system. Crennel’s DEs are expected to occupy blockers more than make plays. None of his 3-4 DEs has ever had more than 7 sacks in a season. If I’m Watt, I might just want to play out my contact and sign a mega-deal with a team that let’s me do what I loved to do, penetrate and attack the backfield. After all you only get one career.

  28. What Florio forgets to mention in this article is that Watt will easily be owed the largest contract ever given to a defensive player, and that’s not something you can just throw out without making sure you have your cap space and future contracts all set up right. Mario Williams got $100M and Watt is far better of a player.

    They’ll get it done, just a matter of when.

  29. I guess it takes a chump to know one.

    Apparently you’re not aware of the Texans empty bank account (salary cap).

    Rick Smith is one of the worst GMs and is basically a right hand to the owner and Head Coach. Smith does what they want done.


    I guess no one has updated you on their cap space since 2012. They have plenty of space now. Read b4 you post and know the facts

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