Houston Texans’ Bill O’Brien offers update on Deshaun Watson contract talks

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Once the Kansas City Chiefs made reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes the richest player in professional sports history earlier this offseason, it became clear that the Houston Texans needed to get to work.

Deshaun Watson remains one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s eligible for an extension after completing three seasons in the NFL. The longer Houston waits to sign Watson to that lucrative long-term contract, the more expensive he’s going to become.

In talking with the media Tuesday, Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien offered an update on talks between the two sides.

Where are Deshaun Watson contract talks right now?

“I think, look, obviously we feel good about where we’re at as a team. We feel like we have a lot of, like I said earlier, we’ve got a lot of dependable, tough, smart guys and they get along well,” O’Brien said, via the Texans’ official website. “They want to be here. Houston’s a great city. They want to live here and they want to represent this city. Like I’ve said all along, I don’t really want to get into specific contract talks but quite obviously we want Deshaun Watson to be here for a long time. He’s had a great training camp, he’s a great player and we’re going to work hard to get that done.”

That’s pretty much a company line response. Though, it is notable that the embattled head coach did touch on the topic. It was reported recently that contract talks between Watson and the Texans are not going too swimmingly. This also comes after O’Brien, in his role as general manager, signed left tackle Laremy Tunsil to a record-breaking extension during the spring.

Houston has the ability to make Watson one of the highest-paid players in league history. The longer this draws out, the more contentious the relationship between the two sides promises to get. That’s only magnified by the fact that O’Brien dealt away Watson’s favorite receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, back in March.

What will a new Deshaun Watson contract look like?

Mahomes received a 10-year, $450 million extension from Kansas City back in July. Said deal could end up being worth north of $500 million.

However, this contract was an outlier for multiple reasons. First off, Mahomes decided on signing one of the longest extensions in NFL history when other quarterbacks are seeking shorter-term deals. Secondly, he’s a generational talent that has won both league MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards over the past couple seasons. No matter how good Watson is, he’s not going to receive a deal surpassing what Mahomes got.

We could be looking at something more like a four-year, $160 million contract with half of that guaranteed at signing. This would make Watson the second highest-paid player in league history.