HOUSTON — Texans coach and general manager Bill O’Brien on Friday said the team is “working hard” with quarterback Deshaun Watson‘s representatives on a contract extension, and that “we want him here for a long time.”
Watson, a first-round pick in 2017, was eligible for a contract extension for the first time this offseason. He made less than $3.8 million in 2019, which was just 4.88% of the Texans’ cap. He is scheduled to make $4.4 million during the 2020 season.
“Deshaun is a great player, an even better person, and we want him here for a long time,” O’Brien said. “… I know that we’re working hard. We’re not going to really talk about it in the media, but obviously we feel so strongly about him and the future of him in this offense, in this organization, and we want him here for a long time.”
The Texans began “very preliminary” discussions with Watson and his agents about a new deal in April.
“Respectfully, we’re not going to talk about contracts in the media, but we obviously have stated [that] we have so much belief in Deshaun,” O’Brien said Friday. “We love Deshaun. We want him here for a long time, but we’re not going to negotiate contracts or do anything like that in the media. We’ll keep that between us and Deshaun’s representatives. He’s here, he’s excited and we’re excited about the season.”
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was drafted two picks before Watson in 2017, signed a 10-year extension earlier this month that could be worth up to $503 million, sources told ESPN.
During a recent interview with Michael Vick on Fox Sports, Watson said his situation is different from that of Mahomes.
“My situation, and I don’t want to say anything too crazy, is different than his,” Watson said. “Signing a deal for 10 years, you know, I have to speak with my agent on that. Sit down and think, ‘What do I want in my career? Where I want to be for a long period of time?’ I love Houston, I love the organization, I love the teammates and all the players, but all that stuff is always changing.”