Will the Texans win a Super Bowl with Deshaun Watson?

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

Deshaun Watson’s new contract carries with it Super Bowl expectations

The Houston Texans paid Deshaun Watson all that money to win them a Super Bowl.

Watson inked a four-year extension that will pay more money than anybody in football during the life of its contract. He’s slated to make over $39 million in annual salary and won’t be hitting unrestricted free agency until his age-30 season in 2026. With Watson under contract in Houston for the next six years, does he have what it takes to win the Texans franchise a Lombardi Trophy?

It’s Super Bowl or bust for the next six years of Deshaun Watson’s career.

This extension will not fully kick in until 2022, as Watson will be entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal in 2020 and received the fifth-year option for 2021 this past offseason. The good news for this massive extension is that it will depreciate in value in a matter of months, as guys like Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott and maybe even Kyler Murray will get big deals of their own.

The other thing that Watson and the Texans have going for them is time on their side. This extension will exhaust the rest of Watson’s 20s in NFL uniform. He will supposedly be in the midst of his prime when the extension kicks in in two years. The Texans might also have some more cap flexibility to go all-in on a Super Bowl berth in 2022, 2023 and 2024. That’s when they can do it.

The problem for the Texans this year is they’re not favored to even three-peat in the AFC South. Some prognosticators like the Indianapolis Colts to win the division, while others believe the Tennessee Titans’ improbable run to the 2019 AFC Championship game is a sign of more good things to come for Mike Vrabel’s football team. Houston may end up with a third-place finish.

Another area of concern for the Texans this year and probably next is Watson is seen as the third-best quarterback in the AFC behind Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. Fate would have it Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens and Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 55 down in Tampa, Florida. Houston could get there, but that’d be unprecedented.

Entering the 2020 NFL season, the Texans are the only franchise in the league to never play in their conference championship game. While the Texans have qualified for the AFC playoffs on several occasions since their inception back in 2002, they have never made it past the AFC Divisional round. Watson is expected to do that in the next six years or he will have let us down.

Being able to take a football team to new height is something Watson is totally capable of. He brought the Clemson Tigers back to national relevancy for the first time since the peak of the Danny Ford era in the early 1980s. Watson guided Clemson to two College Football Playoff berths, two national title appearances and Clemson’s second national championship back in 2016.

Given that he’s the first star franchise quarterback in Texans history, as David Carr got too beat up too early be the least bit good and Matt Schaub had a few good years there, Watson knows what he has to do in Houston uniform. Even if head coach Bill O’Brien gets in the way schematically or in the front office, Watson has no choice but to win big in Houston in the 2020s.

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So does Watson have to a Super Bowl for this extension to be worthwhile? Not exactly, but he does need to get to at least one and needs to get his team to the AFC Championship game at least twice. From that conference title bout, anything can happen. It’s all about getting there at the end of the day. Though it may not happen until two or three years from now, here’s to it manifesting.

Watson’s contract signifies it’s Super Bowl or bust for the Texans in the next six years.