Which Super Bowl contender will JJ Watt sign?
That will be the big question after Houston “mutually agreed to part ways” with the former first-round pick after 10 seasons. Watt, a three-time winner of the AP Defensive Player of the Year, has 101 career sacks. Watt leaves a Houston community where he made a huge impact on and off the field.
So where will Watt land next? A playoff contender would make more sense. Watt has played in eight postseason games, but has never been on a team that played for a conference championship. Several suitors could offer that opportunity.
Sporting News breaks down free agency attacks, starting with the best place to chase a ring:
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JJ Watt’s best adjustments after the Texans’ launch
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If it’s a ring chase, why not join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay? Lavonte Davis, Shaq Barrett and Ndamukong Suh will be free agents in 2021, and there is no way Tampa Bay will take all three. The Buccaneers qualify Tenth in butt spaceHowever, Watt could agree to prove it knowing he has nine sacks in the past two seasons. Barrett had eight sacks last season and dominated in the postseason. This is one of the most logical settings.
Would Watt stay in the division and join Mike Vrabel? The Titans tried to bring in Jadeveon Clowney, but it didn’t work out. Watt could be a more consistent player. New defensive coordinator Shane Bowen was an assistant in Houston from 2016-17, and he could build an even better defense around Jeffery Simmons, Kevin Byard and Watt.
Matt Judon, who led Baltimore with six sacks last season, is a free agent. Derek Wolfe is also a free agent. The Ravens, however, could rebuild a passing run around Watt and Calais Campbell, who made a difference in their first season. Watt would have a successful veteran coaching staff around him, and Baltimore might have to make this move before anyone else in the division.
You know exactly who we are talking about.
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TJ Watt is already asking for it.
Would a Watt family reunion make sense (Derek Watt also plays for the Steelers)? The Steelers had the third-best defense in the league in 2020 and might have been ranked higher if it weren’t for the season-ending injuries of Bud Dupree and Devin Bush. Pittsburgh is 27th in salary space, but Dupree is now a free agent. Watt could fill that void, and maybe it would come with the family discount.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers needs help, and what better place to start than the former Wisconsin stud? The state native would give new defensive coordinator Joe Barry another piece in a unit featuring Kenny Clark and cornerback Jaire Alexander. Green Bay’s salary cap situation is not ideal for these types of transfers, but it can be done with a little shakeup. Watt would be 32, the same age as Reggie White when he arrived in Green Bay. We all know how that turned out for the Packers.
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Keep an eye on …
The Buccaneers offered the plan to trap the Chiefs, and the Bills managed to capture Patrick Mahomes just once in the AFC championship game. Buffalo is close, and Watt would increase passing speed and be an instant fan favorite. It’s worth a try if the Bills can free up cap space.
The Browns lose Olivier Vernon in free agency, but this franchise has been one of the most aggressive teams in the offseason in the past two years. The idea of Myles Garrett and Watt facing a third-down quarterback is terrifying, and the Browns are certainly in dispute now.
Los Angeles Chargers
Can you imagine Watt and Joey Bosa on the same defensive line? First-year coach Brandon Staley earned his new job coaching a dominant defensive line with the Rams, and the Chargers have enough talented pieces on that side of the ball. That would help in the chase to catch the Chiefs in the AFC West.
New England Patriots
Are the Patriots still a contender? New England has the fourth-most cap space, and it would be an aggressive firm that makes sense for both sides. Watt would be successful in Bill Belichick’s scheme, giving New England another pass rushing option on the inside. Chase Winovich led the Pats with 5.5 sacks last season.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.