ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –J.J. Watt loves being a member of the Houston Texans.
However, on Tuesday, he wasn't shy when asked if he thought he should be compensated a little more for the work he does for the team.
"I think when a team gives a contract after the third year, I think they're saying, 'Listen, we think you've earned this.'" Watt said after practice on Tuesday. "I don't know if they feel that way or not but I sure hope I've put in all the work and I've put in everything I can do to hopefully earn it."
The 2012 Defensive Player of the Year is entering his fourth year of his rookie contract which he signed back in 2011. This off season, Watt has seen other players drafted that same season that have received contract extensions.
He wouldn't mind being the next guy to get one.
"I think it's just nice to see the appreciation being shown. With the new CBA (collective bargaining agreement), I think one of the goals was to make guys earn their pay," Watt said. "No more big paydays upfront. Make guys go out there and play and show that they've earned it."
Watt is the ultimate team guy and made sure to point out that he had no plans of holding out for a new deal or create much of a distraction for his teammates.
Still, he is paying attention to any discussions that his agent may be having with the Texans.
"Right now I'm in football mode so I worry about that. If the time comes where I really need to get involved in the business side, I will," Watt said. "But for the time being, I'm just trying to be the best teammate I can be right now and help my teammates out and be the best football player I can be because I sure as heck love this game."
His extreme work ethic is what has helped Watt become the player that he is in only his 4th NFL season. J.J. believes he's earned a new contract for what he's done on the field, but no matter what deal he gets, his philosophy will never change.
"I think no matter what job you do, I don't care what job it is, you want to outperform your contract. I feel like that's how everybody should attack their job, at least," Watt said. "You should want people to think you're underpaid because of how hard you work, because of how well you do your job, because of how you go about your business. That's just personal pride and that's the way that I was raised and that's the way my parents taught me was if they give you $2 worth of wage, give them $3 worth of work."
Texans General manager Rick Smith has a policy that he will not negotiate contracts during the season so if the two sides are to agree on a new contract, it would have to get done before the season opener against Washington on September 7th.
He wants to keep working in Houston.
"I love the fans that we have. I love the relationship that we have. The city is so great and the way that they treated myself and my family, I couldn't ask for a better place to play," Watt said. "So I sure as heck hope that we can make something happen. Like I said, I hope that I've given the effort and everything they could want to hopefully show that appreciation."