The worry and the wait's over. J.J. Watt's landed the new mega contract that will keep him in a Houston Texans uniform for a long time.
Watt — unquestionably the most popular athlete in Houston today — gets a cool $100 million for six years (with $51 million of it guaranteed) just six days before the Texans' unofficial deadline of not negotiating once the regular season begins would have hit.
Now the best defensive player in football is being paid like the best defensive player in football.
It makes Watt the highest-paid defensive player in football, breaking the mark held by former Texan Mario Williams set when he signed that $96 million (with $50 million of it guaranteed) free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills. ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen first reported on the financial details of Watt's new deal.
This deal alters and adds onto the two years Watt had remaining at rates that would have had him severely underpaid for the production he brings. Now the best defensive player in football is being paid like the best defensive player in football. It also means Watt is secured as a Texan through the 2021 season.
All of the Texans' future plans around new coach Bill O'Brien hinge on the twin pass rushing terrors of Watt and No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney. If Houston didn't have Watt secured and happy, every other big move the team made would be tinged with doubt.
Watt recently voiced his desire for a new deal after seeing other players in his draft class rewarded with mega contracts.
Now he has his — and can get back to hunting quarterbacks.
Texans general manager Rick Smith and Watt's agent Tom Condon — who landed Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith a $68 million contract extension on Sunday — worked late into Monday night to get Watt's new deal done.
It's not often that everyone is happy when a professional athlete signs a $100 million contract. But it's hard to imagine any Texans fan begrudging Watt his mega money.