Late last night, the Houston Texans and defensive end J.J. Watt agreed to a massive contract extension that will make Watt the highest-paid defensive player in the game, and it's hard to find anyone arguing he doesn't deserve it.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Watt's six-year deal could pay him a maximum of $100 million over the life of the extension, and reportedly contains $51.876 million in guaranteed money—breaking the old record of $50 million guaranteed, set when Buffalo signed Mario Williams in 2012.
(Update: According to PFT, $30.87 million is guaranteed upon signing. The remaining $21M or so will become guaranteed in 2016, when the contract kicks in.)
This deal should work out better. Watt, just 25 years old, has been quite probably the best defensive player in the NFL the past two seasons, racking up 161 tackles and 31 sacks over that time. He's a two-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro, and in 2012 was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
The Texans have so much faith in him they got this deal done before they had to. Watt still has two years left on his rookie contract, including a $6.9 million option for 2015 and the possibility of franchise tagging him after that. (Watt becomes only the second Texan to rework his contract with more than a year remaining, after Andre Johnson in 2010.) Instead, they've now got him under team control through 2021.