J.J. Watt surprisingly not looking for Texans extensionby Ryan Dunleavy
J.J. Watt isn’t looking to get paid more for what he’s already done.
He wants to earn more money by showing what he still can do for the Texans.
Watt has two years remaining on his six-year, $100 million contract and is due $15.5 million in 2020 and $17.5 million in 2021 before free agency. But neither salary is guaranteed, so the Texans could cut him without penalty for big cap savings if they so choose.
Veterans – especially the few with a resume like Watt’s – typically seek an extension once all the guaranteed money in a contract has been paid out. But Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has missed a combined 32 games due to injury in the last four seasons and is coming off surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.
So, is Watt, 31, looking for an extension?
“No. No. I don’t think that’s necessary,” he told reporters Wednesday. “I think that I fully understand and respect the situation that I’m in at the moment and what has happened the past few years.
“So I’m not going to sit here and demand anything because I’m going out there to prove what I’m worth. And I believe that’s the right situation for everybody. I think if I went back and asked for an extension or more money or anything right now, that would be the wrong move.”
The Texans are not against parting ways with stars, trading pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney to the Seahawks last offseason and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals in March. But Watt, beloved by the city of Houston for his humanitarianism as well as his football ability, is in a class of his own.
“I feel good,” Watt said. “My goal is to do whatever possible to help the team win. No. 1, that means staying healthy. Then, it’s to play at the peak physical level I’m capable of.”
Six defensive ends have a higher average annual salary than Watt’s $16.6 million as the market has exploded since he re-signed in 2014.