J.J. Watt wants extension, wants to stay

J.J. Watt wants extension, wants to stay
August 19, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium.

(USA Today Sports Images)

J.J. Watt's fellow 2011 draft mates have started to get new deals.

Players like Patrick Peterson, Tyron Smith and Andy Dalton have all been given new deals by their respective teams.

And the normally reserved Pro Bowler Watt has noticed. 

“I think when you look around the league and a see a couple other guys from the 2011 draft class get contracts, I think it’s just nice to see the appreciation being shown," Watt said to reporters in Colorado on Tuesday after the Texans practiced with the Broncos. The conversation on Tuesday sprouted from an interview Watt had recently with Yahoo! Sports.

"With the new CBA, I think one of the goals was to make guys earn their pay. No more big paydays upfront. Make guys go out there and play and show that they’ve earned it. So I think when a team gives a contract after the third year, I think they’re saying, ‘Listen, we think you’ve earned this.’ I don’t know if they 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."

Watt said he thinks it would be "great" to get a new contract before the season starts but said he's focused on playing football. 

Watt, 25, was asked why he didn't exert his leverage (hold out) to get a new deal. He said he didn't do that because he didn't want to miss time with his teammates at practice. 

"I want to be out here with these young guys," Watt said. "I want to teach them the things that I know. I want to better myself. It hasn’t really come to that. I want to be a Houston Texans. I want to play football. I want to be the best I can be and I can’t do that by sitting on my couch. So I want to come out here and practice and help the team.”

Watt, who is represented by CAA football, has a base salary of just under $2 million for 2014. But the Texans have him under contract for two more seasons after picking up his fifth-year option earlier this summer.

Texans GM Rick Smith has a policy that he won't negotiate contracts during the season so the clock is ticking away this offseason. 

Watt has been a Pro Bowler and an All Pro in each of the last two seasons. This will be his fourth in the NFL. Watt said he would like to remain in Houston. He said he "couldn't ask for a better place to play." 

The former Defensive Player of the Year hasn't been involved in any contract talks yet but said he would involve himself if he feels it becomes necessary. 

“I think no matter what job you do, I don’t care what job it is, you want to outperform your contract," Watt said. "I feel like that’s how everybody should attack their job, at least. You should want people to think you’re underpaid because of how hard you work, because of how well you do your job, because of how you go about your business. That’s just personal pride and that’s the way that I was raised and that’s the way my parents taught me was if they give you $2 worth of wage, give them $3 worth of work.”

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