The NFL has been anticipating that there will be positive coronavirus tests across the league before and during the 2020 season, and that has already proven true for teams in Texas.
Several Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans players tested positive for COVID-19 recently, according to Ian Rapoport of Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The teams followed the appropriate health protocols, and none of the players were believed to have been in their teams’ facilities at any point.
Several #Cowboys players & several #Texans players have tested positive for COVID-19 recently, sources tell me & @TomPelissero. None of the players are believed to have been in their team facilities. The teams followed proper health protocols.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 15, 2020
The University of Houston suspended workouts recently after six of their football players tested positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said last month that the league fully anticipates having positive COVID-19 tests and will have plans in place to deal with them. The ability to test, isolate players and contact trace is key to being able to have an NFL season in 2020.
JJ Watt’s salary for 2020 places him well below some of the highest-paid defensive ends in football, but the Houston Texans star says he is not going to approach the team about renegotiating his contract this offseason.
Watt signed six-year, $100 million contract with the Texans back in 2014, and he has no guaranteed money remaining on the deal. Despite that, the 31-year-old told reporters on Wednesday that he has no intention of demanding more money. Watt said he doesn’t think asking for a new contract at this time is necessary, and he hinted that he understands the Texans might have reservations about giving him one due to his recent injury history.
J.J. Watt was asked, with two years remaining and no guaranteed money left on his contract, would he want a contract extension this offseason.
“No. No. I don’t think that’s necessary." pic.twitter.com/vQXTQM9nCb
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) May 27, 2020
Health has become a major concern for Watt. After not missing a game in his first five NFL seasons, the former No. 11 overall pick has been sidelined for a total of 32 over the last four years. The latest injury was a torn pectoral muscle that shut him down for the second half of the regular season last year, though he battled back and was able to suit up in the playoffs.
Watt is just two years removed from a 16-sack season in 2018. He claims he is healthy heading into the 2020 season, and he will certainly be in line for another massive contract if he comes close to duplicating his production from two years ago. Even if he sought an extension this offseason, he wouldn’t be in a position of strength.
The first regular season game of the 2020 NFL season will feature two of the best young quarterbacks in the league.
The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans when the season opens on Thursday, September 10, the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reported on Thursday.
This will be an intriguing game given the history of the teams from the 2019 season.
Houston won in Kansas City 31-24 in Week 6 last season, but the playoff game was a different story. The Texans blew a 24-0 lead in the second quarter and got smashed the rest of the game, losing 51-31.
The Texans will enter this game with a new look team that does not include DeAndre Hopkins, who has been traded to Arizona. The Chiefs meanwhile look very strong entering a 2020 season where they try to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
The Houston Texans shelled out a huge sum of money on Friday to assure they can protect Deshaun Watson’s blind side for years to come, and they may now turn their attention toward signing the franchise quarterback to a new deal.
With Pro Bowl offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil having agreed to a record extension with the Texans, ESPN’s Ed Werder reports that Watson’s contract is the next priority for the team. Watson and the Texans have had “preliminary” discussions about a new deal, and they hope to reach an agreement before the start of the 2020 season.
Source: The #Texans have engaged in “very preliminary“ discussions with QB Deshaun Watson on a potential contract extension. With Laremy Tunsil’s contract complete, Watson is the next priority. The is team hoping to reach an agreement before the start of the season.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) April 24, 2020
Watson’s base salary for next season is just over $1 million, and he also has a team option on his contract for 2021. That fifth-year option will obviously be exercised by the Texans if needed, but they are hoping to sign Watson to a long-term extension before it comes into play.
Both Watson and Patrick Mahomes were drafted in 2017, and this is the first offseason they are eligible to sign extensions. Whoever signs his contract first will almost certainly set the record for the richest deal in NFL history, with the second likely surpassing the first by a small margin. We’ve heard some insane numbers being thrown around for a potential Mahomes extension, and Watson’s camp will be keeping a close eye on the Kansas City Chiefs to see if they are closing in on a deal with the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
Watson’s rookie year with Houston was cut short by a torn ACL, but he has missed just one game since. He threw for 3,852 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season.
The Houston Texans gave up a significant amount of draft capital when they acquired Laremy Tunsil in a trade last offseason, and they now have a deal in place to keep the Pro Bowl left tackle with the team for several years.
Tunsil and the Texans have agreed to a three-year extension worth $66 million, according to Ian Rapoport and Steve Wyche of NFL Network. The deal includes $50 million guaranteed.
Full terms: 3 years, $66M with $50M guaranteed and $40M due at signing. A huge haul for the star LT https://t.co/DC76vQkcPa
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 24, 2020
From an average annual value standpoint, the deal makes Tunsil the highest-paid offensive lineman in football by a wide margin. His $22 million per year dwarfs the $18 million per year that Lane Johnson got on his most recent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Texans already made an unpopular move this offseason by trading away star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, though that deal seemed to be motivated by non-football factors. Still, it allowed Houston to free up some money, and using it to protect Deshaun Watson’s blindside is a smart investment.
The much-discussed trade between the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals has not officially gone through yet, and the teams have less than three weeks to complete it as it’s currently constructed.
DeAndre Hopkins and David Johnson both need to pass physicals in order to complete the trade. While there is no reason to believe that either player will fail their physical, the clock is ticking on the completion of the trade.
Both teams are swapping 2020 draft picks as part of the deal, which raises more important questions. According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, if the physicals are not done by the start of the NFL Draft in 19 days, new terms would have to be agreed, since the teams cannot just draft for each other to complete a deal that isn’t done.
The Hopkins trade has not gone over well in Houston, so some Texans fans are probably rooting for it to fall through. It seems unlikely that both teams would let it get to a point where it may be in jeopardy, though, so expect this to come to fruition.
The Houston Texans made an unpopular decision on Monday to trade DeAndre Hopkins, and they are now trying to justify the deal in the wake of an unflattering report about Bill O’Brien’s dealings with the star wide receiver.
Hopkins approached the Texans this offseason and informed them he wanted a new contract that would pay him between $18-20 million per year, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports. He apparently told the team he would hold out if they did not make him one of the highest-paid receivers in football.
After the Texans agreed to trade DeAndre Hopkins, sources told me Hopkins' reps told the Texans weeks prior he wanted a new deal paying him somewhere between $18- $20mil per year. The team was told Hopkins wouldn't show, if he didn't get the deal. Houston moved forward with trade
— Dianna (@diannaESPN) March 18, 2020
The Texans say that led to their decision to trade Hopkins, who has three years and $40 million remaining on his deal. While it would not be a surprise if Hopkins wanted a raise to reflect his consistent production, it sounds like there was a lot more to the situation than a contract dispute.
Former NFL receiver Michael Irvin said Wednesday that Hopkins told him Texans head coach Bill O’Brien compared Hopkins to Aaron Hernandez in a meeting, and the two were tangled up in a power struggle.
There are two sides to every story, and that is what we have here. Texans fans want to know why one of the best receivers in football was traded for David Johnson and a draft pick, and Hopkins says things went south because of the way O’Brien treated him. Houston says Hopkins wanted more money and was threatening to become a headache. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.