McNair would use franchise tag on Watt

McNair would use franchise tag on Watt
August 8, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) goes through drills during mini camp at Houston Methodist Training Center.

(USA Today Sports Images)

J.J. Watt is under contract with the Texans through 2015.

But will he get a long-term deal to stay in Houston?

Well, if the team can't work one out, owner Bob McNair wouldn't be opposed to using the franchise tag on his best player.

"You've got guys in the Hall of Fame that have been franchised in back-to-back years," McNair told ESPN.com's Tania Ganguli. "The franchise tag is worth something to the team, and you can't be afraid to use it."

In 2014, the franchise tag amount for a defensive end is $13.116 million. Watt has a base salary of $1,907,385 in 2014.

In the past, the Texans have been able to reach long-term deals with certain key players but let Mario Williams leave in free agency in 2012.

Watt is under contract through 2015 after the Texans picked up his fifth-year option this offseason.

"It's going to be a big contract," McNair said. "If we can do something with him that makes sense for the team to do it early, we'll certainly do it.

"It has to make sense for us. The team comes first. We want to keep all of our players. We want to take care of all or our players, but the team comes first."

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