The goal within the organization still is to secure a long-term deal with Watson, who led Houston to a 10-6 record last season and an AFC South title.
The Texans last week began to engage in “very preliminary” discussions with Watson and his representatives with more to come.
Watson is one of three quarterbacks who could set the NFL contract record this offseason; the group includes Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Dallas has used the exclusive franchise tag on Prescott, but the two sides still could reach a deal before the start of the 2020 season.
Watson and Mahomes, first-round picks in 2017, are eligible for new contracts for the first time this offseason.
To set a record for a new deal, Mahomes or Watson would have to top Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who signed a four-year, $140 million contract in April. Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, picked No. 1 overall in 2016, has the record for guaranteed money: $110 million included in the four-year, $134 million extension he signed in September.
Watson, 24, made less than $3.8 million in 2019, which was just 4.88% of the Texans’ cap. He is scheduled to make $4.4 million during the 2020 season.