Deshaun Watson agrees to huge four-year contract extension with Houston Texans
The Houston Texans and quarterback Deshaun Watson agreed Saturday to a four-year extension, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about the deal because the team had yet to announce it.
Watson will turn 25 on Sept. 14, four days after he and the Texans face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs for the NFL's season opener — a rematch of last year's AFC Divisional Round playoff game.
The average annual salary over the four years is $39 million, and the agreement contains a $27 million bonus.
It's not the first time Houston has invested in Watson's future and potential. The Texans traded a pair of first round picks to move up and select Watson 12th overall in the 2017 NFL draft, months after he led the Clemson Tigers to a national championship.
CUT TRACKER:Which notable veterans aren't making 53-man squads?
JONES SHIFTS TONE:Cowboys owner says players need help from America
"I couldn't be more honored and humbled to sign a long-term deal in Houston, the city that I've grown to love so much and now call my home," Watson said in a social media post. "Thanks to Cal, Janice, the entire McNair family, Coach O'Brien, Jack Easterby and the whole Texans' organization for helping to make my dream a reality. Special thank you to all my teammates, past and present, for believing in me and helping me grow as both a player and person."
The Georgia native also took time to express gratitude toward his mother, Deann.
"She instilled in me at an early age that no matter the circumstances and obstacles you must endure and keep going," Watson said. "Thank you to my brothers and my sister who have seen the worst times and the best times with me and never lost hope."
An ACL injury suffered during his rookie season cut his promising start short, but he's bounced back to lead the Houston Texans to back-to-back AFC South division titles. Watson earned Pro Bowl nods each of those seasons and has completed 67.8% of his passes for more than 8,000 yards and 52 touchdowns (21 interceptions).
Watson also adds an element to the Texans' run game, as he rushed 99 times for 551 yards in 2018 and took off 82 times for 413 yards last season.
Watson's new deal will make him the second-highest paid quarterback, behind Mahomes, who agreed to a record-breaking $503 million contract extension earlier this summer.