Watson is entering his fourth season with a fifth-year option left on his rookie deal, which pays him $4.4 million in the 2020 season.
His new deal would put him in the range of $40 million a year. Watson, Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes (also going into his fourth season), and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott are all looking to top Russell Wilson's record-setting $140 million contract, which Wilson signed in April 2019.
When asked Friday whether it is a priority to sign Watson to an extension before the season, Texans head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien was reluctant to say much other than "these things take time" and reiterating how much the Texans want Watson to be the quarterback for a long time.
It seems, though, it would be good for the Texans to avoid the franchise tag situation the Cowboys have found themselves in with Prescott.
“Look, I think any time we can try to get something done with Deshaun would be great, but again, these things take time," O'Brien said. "I don't want to get into all the details of it. I know there's a lot out there about where we are. We have a great relationship with Deshaun, we have a great relationship with his agent. Very good open lines of communication. Really haven't gotten into the details of anything right now, but obviously we want Deshaun Watson to be the quarterback here for a long time, so we'll see how it all plays out.”
Watson, a two-time Pro Bowler in back-to-back seasons, is considered among the best young quarterbacks in the league.
Watson has at least 200 passing yards and 50 rushing yards in two of his three postseason appearances, which ties for the second-most by a player in NFL history.
He was also the youngest player to ever throw for 200 yards and rush for 75 yards in a playoff game at age 23 against the Indianapolis Colts in his third season.
In the Texans' comeback from down 16-0 against the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card Round last season, Watson joined Ken Stabler (1976 Divisonal Round) and Bart Starr (1967 NFL Championship, also known as "The Ice Bowl") as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to record a passing touchdown, rushing touchdown, no giveaways and complete a fourth-quarter comeback in a playoff game.