J.J. Watt is set to become the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL after he and the Houston Texans agreed on a six-year extension worth $100 million, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The deal reportedly includes $51.876 million in guaranteed money, the largest guarantee for a defensive player in NFL history.
In just three NFL seasons, the 25-year-old Watt quickly developed into arguably the best defensive player in the NFL. He tallied 20.5 sacks in 2012 en route to winning Defensive Player of the Year honors. He finished with 10.5 sacks last year and remained one of the most disruptive players in football. Watt's representatives and the Texans discussed an extension for much of the offseason. Houston selected Watt with the No. 11 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and he still had two seasons left on his rookie deal.
Many NFL players have to wait until a year before free agency to discuss an extension, but few are in Watt's class. Although the Texans could have waited to do a deal and let Watt play this season on his $1.9 million base salary, they gain security and lock up one of the premier players in the league for another six years. The deal ensures Watt will spend the prime of his career in Houston.
Watt will once again anchor the Texans' defense. He tallied 36.5 sacks during his first three seasons while forcing eight fumbles and recording 27 pass deflections. This season he will team up with No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney to form arguably the best pass rush combination in the NFL.
The $100 million deal is the richest ever for a defensive player, topping the six-year, $96 million deal Mario Williams signed with Buffalo in 2012.