Head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien called it "a big night" for Deshaun Watson.
On Saturday, the Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson made it official. Watson signed a contract extension that will make him the Texans starting quarterback through 2025. The team did not release details of the contract.
On his Zoom press conference with media, Watson was surprised by multiple special guests from his past. After hearing from Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, his Gainesville High School offensive coordinator Michael Perry, Astros ace pitcher Justin Verlander, Cypress Creek Make-A-Wish leukemia patient Ethan Hughes plus his mother Deann and the entire Watson family, Watson was overcome with emotion and broke down crying.
It wasn't even about the money, Watson explained.
"It's life-changing, it's great, but the biggest thing is for the McNair family, OB (O'Brien), Jack (Easterby) to just trust in me, and believe in me, that I'm their guy, I'm their quarterback is the biggest thing that really touches me," Watson said. "Growing up where I'm from, there's not too many people that make it out."
The instability that Watson experienced in his childhood, from living in subsidized housing to dealing with his mother's cancer diagnosis, had the star quarterback seeking the opposite in his football career. He was committed to every program he played in, leading the Red Elephants to their first state championship and Clemson to a national title in his final collegiate season.
With a long-term future in Houston, Watson now has his sights set on Super Bowl championship for the Texans.
"I don't like a lot of change," Watson said. "Growing up, sticking with Gainesville, that's all I knew. Clemson - committed as a 14-year-old to Dabo Swinney. That's what I am. Committed to the Houston Texans, the McNair family, Coach OB, Jack (Easterby), all my teammates, I'm committed here. I don't like a lot of change so once I was drafted here, I said to myself that I want to be in Houston as my next home. Houston is my foundation, it's my home."
With the two-time Pro Bowler under center, the Texans have won 21 games over the past two seasons and secured the AFC South division title in two of his first three campaigns. Watson is the only player in NFL history to record consecutive seasons (2018, 2019) with 25-or-more passing touchdowns and five-or-more rushing touchdowns. He joins Steve Young (1994, 1998) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with more than one of such season.
Last year, Watson led the Texans to the AFC Divisional Round after completing 20-of-25 passes (80.0 percent) for 247 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and a 121.2 passer rating in the win over Buffalo in the Wild Card game. Watson also rushed for a team-high 55 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries (3.9 avg.) in his first NFL playoff victory.
Houston traded up to the 12th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Watson after he guided Clemson to consecutive College Football Playoff appearances and a National Championship victory in 2017 as the game's offensive MVP. Since being drafted in 2017, Watson garnered national attention for his playmaking. As a rookie, he set NFL records for the most passing touchdowns (19) through a player's first seven career games and the most passing touchdowns (18 in Weeks 3-8) by a rookie over any five-game span.
Through his first 38 games with 37 starts, Watson has accumulated 9,716 passing yards, 71 passing touchdowns, 1,233 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. He is the first player in NFL history to both surpass 9,500 career passing yards and 1,000 career rushing yards in his first 38 career games, and record over 70 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in his first 38 games.
Check out some of Deshaun Watson's best moments on the field.