Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said he will not ask for a new contract this off-season, despite no guaranteed money in the final two years of his pact.
“I don’t think that’s necessary,” Watt told reporters Wednesday. “I’m not going to sit here and demand anything. If I asked for an extension or money right now, I think that would be the wrong move.”
Watt, 31, will earn $15.5 million and $17.6 million in the next two seasons, respectively. He has dealt with injuries in three of the past four seasons, which limited the star pass rusher to just 32 appearances. Watt started all 16 games in every season from 2011 through 2015 before he missed 13 games in 2016.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year had 24 total tackles, 21 quarterback hits, four sacks, three passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in eight starts last season while limited by a torn pectoral. He returned to the field in January for two playoff appearances.
“I’m just going out there and trying to prove my worth and to help this team win games and do everything that I can to earn and make sure that these people know that I’m worth it,” Watt said.
The five-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection ranks fourth in sacks among active players. His 158 tackles for a loss rank fifth all-time. Watt’s $16.6 million average annual salary ranks second among 3-4 defensive ends at 13th among all defensive linemen, according to OverTheCap.com.
Watt said he feels healthy now and has met with the team every day in Zoom video conference meetings. Texans players have had to meet virtually since April 27 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Texans are scheduled to open the regular season against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 10 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.