Star defensive end J.J. Watt agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract extension with the Houston Texans on Sept. 1. The deal makes Watt the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Watt agreed to a contract extension worth $100 million with $51.876 million in guaranteed money, per a Sept. 1 update by The Houston Chronicle's John McClain:
"When Texans defensive end J.J. Watt signs his six-year, $100 million contract extension that includes $51.876 million guaranteed, he will become the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
"Watt's extension surpasses the previous record set by former Texans defensive end Mario Williams, who signed a six-year, $96 million contract with (the) Buffalo (Bills) that included $50 million guaranteed.
"General manager Rick Smith, vice president of football administration Chris Olsen and agent Tom Condon reached an agreement in principle on the record-setting extension late Monday night, according to people familiar with the negotiations. They worked all day Monday and into the night to complete the deal before the Texans begin practice for Sunday's regular-season opener against the Washington Redskins.
"Watt, 25, will sign Tuesday, and there will be a news conference at NRG Stadium.
"Watt, the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft, had two years left on his contract, including a base salary of $1.9 million this year and a $6.9 (million) option year in 2015.
"Under the terms of his extension, Watt's base salaries this year and in 2016 will be $907,385 and $9.969 million. When he signs, he gets $10 million.
"Watt's new deal begins in 2016 and extends through the 2021 (season).
"The two sides have been involved in negotiations for several weeks. Before the Texans began the first of three joint practices at Denver, Watt went public with his desire for an extension.
"Condon had been working under a deadline. Smith has a policy against contract negotiations in (the) regular season because he believes they are a distraction.
"Watt, who was voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and is considered to be the league's premier defensive player, had no leverage.
"Watt had two years left on his contract, and the Texans could have used the franchise tag on him after that. They redid his deal because he's a great player who outplayed his original contract.
"The Texans usually negotiate extensions for their best players when they have one year left on their contract. But they make exceptions for their elite players like Watt and Andre Johnson.
"Johnson is the only other Texan to have his contract redone with more than one year remaining."
ESPN's Chris Mortensen also confirmed Watt's new megadeal:
"The Houston Texans and defensive end J.J. Watt have reached agreement on a new six-year deal that could pay him $100 million, league sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
"The deal, which starts this season, will pay Watt a guaranteed $51.8 million, the most for a defensive player in the history of the NFL. The $16.6 million annual value also is the highest for a defensive player.
"Watt, the 11th selection in the 2011 draft and the 2012 defensive player of the year, said earlier this month that he hoped he had earned a new contract.
"'With the new (collective bargaining agreement), I think one of the goals was to make guys earn their pay,' Watt said. 'No more big paydays up front. Make guys go out there and play, show that they've earned it.
"'So I think when a team gives a big contract after the third year, they're saying, 'Listen, we think you've earned this,' I don't know if (the Texans) feel that way or not, but I sure hope I've put in all the work, and I've put in everything I can do to hopefully earn it.'
"In May, the Texans picked up a fifth-year option on his contract that locked him in at a salary of $6.969 million for the 2015 season -- the final year of his rookie deal.
"The Houston Chronicle first reported the parties had reached agreement."
Watt has amassed 217 tackles, 36.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries in 48 career regular-season games -- all with the Texans -- per ESPN stats.