Houston Texans: Whitney Mercilus extension needs to happen now
Here’s why the Houston Texans need to give Whitney Mercilus an extension ASAP.
Following the trade of Jadeveon Clowney, it was well-known that Whitney Mercilus would need to step up to fill the huge void left on the pass rushing front for the Houston Texans. Mercilus has been dominant thus far in 2019 and is on pace for his best year to date.
Mercilus is currently on pace for 20 sacks and 16 forced fumbles, but it would be a surprise if he continues at this pace. If he does, however, it would be a record-setting year, shattering the previous record of 10 forced fumbles in a season.
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Regardless of whether Mercilus continues at his current pace, it is possible he does break the forced fumbles record as he’s practically halfway there right now. This is why the Texans need to pay Mercilus now, because every week his asking price will continue to rise, with his dominant play week after week.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle wrote this of the contract situation of Mercilus earlier this week:
"“No deal is imminent for Mercilus, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.”"
The Texans would be wise to give Mercilus an extension sooner rather than later, as they’ve already cost themselves significantly more money by waiting.
Mercilus’ current contract is a four-year deal with $26 million, and this season he’s making $5.75 million with a signing bonus of $1.05 million and a $500,000 roster bonus, according to Spotrac.com.
There are many that believe that Mercilus’ strong play this year is an example of the “contract year theory,” meaning he was primed for a big year because he’s in the final year of his deal and wants a new one.
While that may be the case, this isn’t a gamble the Texans can afford to take at this point. They’ve not seen any return on the players they acquired in the Clowney trade, which were Jacob Martin and Barkevious Mingo.
There’s also the theory that the Texans didn’t want to give Mercilus a new deal right out of the gate because they wanted to see what he still had left in the tank. If that were the case, I would expect an extension soon, as he’s clearly proven there is much left in the tank.
What could very well be complicating the matter is the fact that the Texans don’t have an actual general manager right now, but that didn’t get in the way of the extension for center Nick Martin.
Imagine how much more the Texans have already cost themselves by waiting, and just imagine how much higher the contract number will be if he leads the NFL in sacks. It’s not too far off from reality, as Mercilus currently is tied for the fourth-most sacks in the league and is only a half sack within being in third place.
The logic behind wanting Mercilus to play out his deal is understandable, but at this point it’s becoming a bidding war each Sunday, and Mercilus is winning it every week with his play on the field.