HOUSTON – The Houston Texans have signed DE J.J. Watt to a six-year contract extension, the team announced today. Further terms of the contract extension were not disclosed.
Drafted by Houston in 2011 with the 11th overall pick, Watt has earned two Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro selections, and the 2012 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year Award in his first three seasons as a Texan. In the last two seasons combined, Watt leads the NFL with 31 sacks.
The former Wisconsin Badger leads all defensive linemen with 183 solo tackles (according to official NFL statistics) and 27 passes defensed since 2011. Watt's 36.5 career sacks ranks fifth overall in that time and is the most of any 3-4 defensive end. The Texans' 2012 MVP has led the NFL in quarterback hits each of the last two years with 46 in 2013, and 43 in 2012. No other player has recorded more than 33 in a season since 1999. He led the NFL with 39 tackles for loss in 2012 and ranked second in 2013 with 22 tackles for loss.
In 2012, Watt had a season for the ages. He led the NFL with a franchise-record 20.5 sacks, 43 quarterback hits, 39 tackles for loss and had 16 passes defensed on the way to winning the franchise's first Player of the Year award. Watt became the first player in NFL history to have at least 14 sacks and 14 passes defensed in the same season. All totaled, Watt was responsible for 95 plays of zero or negative yards, according to official NFL statistics.
The Pewaukee, Wisc. native has been equally impressive in the postseason. In four career playoff games, Watt has recorded 23 total tackles, 5 sacks, 7 quarterback hits, 7 tackles for loss and 3 passes defensed, including a 29-yard interception return for a touchdown against Cincinnati in a Wild Card game his rookie season.