The writer said the Texans are quite interested in signing their quarterback to a long term deal but that the two sides aren’t making much progress toward an agreement. The franchise had aimed to have something done before the start of the 2020 season. With that date just a few weeks away, it doesn’t appear as though something is going to be finalized before then.
Johnson said the rationale with getting a new contract done sooner rather than later is that the team wants to get Watson long-term before some of his contemporaries sign their longer deals.
The writer pointed to Dak Prescott as the chief example of this. Prescott was thought to be getting an extension that would have him under the Dallas Cowboys’ control for another five or six years. Instead, no agreement could be reached and the Cowboys signed him to a franchise tag, meaning he’s under contract only for this coming season.
The Yardbarker scribe said that Houston general manager and head coach Bill O’Brien has been tight-lipped about any kind of progress with Watson. But it’s thought that talks between the two sides started months ago.
Chief among the issues is that Watson reportedly does not want a deal that will lock him up for a long period of time. He would allegedly like to try out the free-agent market and see what kind of money he could demand.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN was cited by Johnson as saying that Watson doesn’t want anything close to a five-year deal. The franchise is looking to keep him in town for at least that long. The analyst also pointed out that since the front office has him under control through at least 2022, there really isn’t a reason to give him a brand new contract for a short period.
Watson is coming off a 2019 campaign that most analysts believe will earn him big money in the near future. He threw for 3,852 yards and 26 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. He also ran for 413 yards and another seven touchdowns.
While the quarterback did get some MVP votes, the season was a follow up to 2018, when he put up even bigger numbers in every category.
While Johnson concedes the two sides might not be close yet, he thinks they’ll eventually settle on a four-year agreement that will make Watson one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.