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Texans’ J.J. Watt becomes the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL

J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans warms up before playing the San Francisco 49ers in a pre-season game at Reliant Stadium on August 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Defensive end J.J. Watt has emerged as one of the top defensive players in the NFL. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting Tuesday that Watt has agreed to a massive 6-year, $100 million extension with the Houston Texans. The deal will make the young star the highest paid defensive player in the NFL as he is set to earn $16.6 million a season through 2021. The deal also includes a historic $51.8 million of guaranteed money.

The 2011 first-round pick was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 2012 and despite the team’s struggles in 2013, Watt continued to show his dominance. He recorded 10.5 sacks following his 10-sack season the year before. His dominance over his first two seasons is worth the money, especially if he continues to progress.

The Texans were able to ink the deal before anything could get ugly between the two sides. Watt has publicly expressed his frustrations, which led to fears of a potential holdout of the best defensive player in the NFL. Watt certainly believes he earned the deal.

Back in August, he told reporters, “With the new [collective bargaining agreement], I think one of the goals was to make guys earn their pay. No more big paydays up front. Make guys go out there and play, show that they’ve earned it. So I think when a team gives a big contract after the third year, they’re saying, ‘Listen, you’ve earned this.’ I don’t know if [the Texans] 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.”

Texans owner Bob McNair answered that question with the contract extension. The Texans hope Watt continues to earn every penny and that it rubs off on the 2014 No. 1 pick overall Jadeveon Clowney. The $100 million man will be expected to mentor Clowney and anchor the Texans defense following a very disappointing year for the team.

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