The best defensive player in football is now going to be paid like it.
NFL Media's Albert Breer reported early Tuesday that the defensive end's new deal is worth $100 million. Watt receives $30.876 million guaranteed at signing, and an additional $21 million becomes fully guaranteed if he's on the roster at the start of the 2016 league year, per Breer.
The Houston Chronicle's John McClain first reported the contract figures late Monday night.
We've seen too many initial contract terms get fluffed up by agents to take the numbers at face value. But it's safe to say before seeing the fine print that Watt is now among the highest paid defenders in football. (The total value of Mario Williams' deal with the Buffalo Bills was $96 million.)
Watt is coming off one of the best two-year runs we've seen by a defensive player in the last 20 years. His 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year campaign was historically disruptive, and his 2013 campaign was quietly incredible. Watt had 38.5 hurries last season, according to the Football Outsiders Almanac. No other player had more than 21.
Watt had two years remaining on his rookie contract, but the Texans didn't want their best player to be the most underpaid player in football again. They did right by him. General manager Rick Smith has had his share of draft misses, but taking Watt No. 11 in 2011 was a game changer for the franchise.
Now 25 years old, Watt can look forward to playing next to another freakish talent for at least four years. No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney looked as good as advertised in the preseason, and the Texans' pass rush has scary potential when Watt and Clowney line up next to each other. You can only send double teams to one of them, and Watt has proven he will destroy offensive linemen one-on-one.
The Texans have a lot of work to do in order to build up the rest of the roster, but Watt gives them an incredible foundation to build from.