The move was a financial decision, after the team reportedly asked the one-time Pro Bowler to take a pay cut. Instead, Mathieu hit free agency and inked a one-year deal with the Texans.
After five years in Arizona, Mathieu goes to a different situation in Houston, where the Texans are just scratching the surface with star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson’s season ended prematurely last year after he suffered a torn ACL in practice. Before the injury, it was clear Watson was building something special in Houston, and Mathieu clearly sees it.
“I’ve always been a fan of him, ever since he’s been at Clemson,” said Mathieu of Watson on PFT Live. “We’ve always been in communication. Just feeding off each other’s energy. He’s a special talent. Like I said, just being in the division with Russell Wilson and seeing the kind of player that he truly was. I think Deshaun Watson can definitely be that kind of player. He definitely has that potential. I know he’s a hard worker, and I know he has that swagger. Those are some of the things that you just can’t coach. I think that’s what makes players special. I think he just has that ‘it’ factor. I think he showed it as a rookie. Obviously, coming off the injury I know he’s going to have that chip on his shoulder to prove his point again. I’m excited to see it. I’m excited to be his teammate.”
The No. 12 overall pick in last year’s draft threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first seven games, one of which he did not start. Watson’s 19 touchdowns are the most ever for an NFL quarterback in his first seven games.
In Watson’s last game, against the Seahawks, Watson made NFL history by becoming the first ever player to throw for more than 400 yards and 4 touchdowns and also rush for 50 yards. Earlier in the season, Watson became the first rookie to ever win the AFC Offensive Player of the Month honor.
Watson also tore his ACL in 2014 as the quarterback at Clemson.
It will be interesting to see how the always motivated Watson returns from injury yet again.