Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson inked a 4-year extension for $177 million, averaging $39 million per year, including a $27 million signing bonus, according to reports by Sheena Quick and John McClain. The news was confirmed by Watson’s agent, David Mulugheta. Those with knowledge of the negotiations believed the process was cordial and began shortly after the combine began. Impressive and well-deserved payday for the Gainesville, Georgia native and former Atlanta Falcons ball boy.
“I’m here, I love this organization,” Watson said upon reporting to camp. “I love the McNair family. I love the coaching staff. I love the coaches. I love the players. I love the city. I love the fanbase.
“Right now, my main focus is continuing to be a Houston Texan and making sure that I’m bringing everything I can and doing everything I can to bring this city and this organization its first championship. Right now, I’m a Houston Texan, and the future is going to tell itself, but I’m locked in on being a Texan.”
😎— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) September 5, 2020
This was the first offseason in which Watson was eligible to sign a long-term deal.
“I love the guy,” O’Brien said of Watson this offseason. “He’s an excellent football player, but he’s an even better person. He cares about his teammates, he cares about being as good of a player and a teammate as he can be every single day, he tries to get better every day. He’s a very smart player. He’s gotten better and better, he’s improved every single year, and we obviously feel very good about and very fortunate to have him on our football team. I think having that position, as we all know, is very important, and we feel like we have an excellent player there.”
Notably, Watson has played in 38 regular-season games, completing 66.8% of his passes for 9,716 yards, throwing 71 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions.
More Glory! 🙏🏾 HOUSTON!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/u2D2o1ttIQ— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) September 5, 2020
When Watson was preparing for the 2017 NFL Draft, his college coach, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney said if a team passed on him, it would be akin to passing up on Michael Jordan.
“He comes to every meeting prepared,” Swinney said. “That’s how you change things, you change the culture, through…for me it’s through discipline and recruiting, staffing and all that stuff. For them, it’s decision-making, it’s who you pick. And I’m just telling you: They pass on Deshaun Watson, they’re passing on Michael Jordan. I mean, I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, I’m just an old funky college coach, but Deshaun Watson is the best, by a long shot.”