Which Super Bowl contender will land JJ Watt?
This will be the big question after Houston “mutually agreed to separatewith the former first-round pick after 10 seasons. Watt, a three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year, has 101 sacks for his career. Watt leaves a Houston community where he left a major impact on and on. outside the field.
So where will Watt land next? A candidate for the playoffs would make the most sense. Watt made eight postseason games, but he was never part of a team that played for a conference championship. Several suitors might be able to offer this opportunity.
Sporting News takes a look at the free agency adjustments, starting with the best place to hunt a ring:
JJ Watt’s best adjustments after the Texans exit
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If it’s a ring pursuit, why not join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay? Lavonte Davis, Shaq Barrett and Ndamukong Suh are all free agents in 2021, and there’s no way Tampa Bay can keep all three. The buccaneers rank 10th in ceiling space, however, and Watt could close a deal proving he has nine sacks in the past two seasons. Barrett had eight sacks last season and dominated in the playoffs. This is one of the most logical adjustments.
Titans of Tennessee
Would Watt stay in the division and team up with Mike Vrabel? The Titans tried to bring in Jadeveon Clowney, but it didn’t work. Watt could be a more consistent player. New defensive coordinator Shane Bowen was an assistant at Houston from 2016 to 2017, 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 pass rush around Watt and Calais Campbell, which made the difference in his debut season. Watt would have a team of seasoned coaches around him, and Baltimore might have to make that move before someone else in the division does.
You know exactly who we are talking about.
TJ Watt is already claiming it.
Would be a watt family meeting – Derek Watt also plays for the Steelers – does that make sense? The Steelers had the league’s third-best defense in 2020 and could have been ranked higher without the season-ending injuries of Bud Dupree and Devin Bush. Pittsburgh ranks 27th in cap room, 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 old Wisconsin stud? The state native would give new defensive coordinator Joe Barry another room in a unit that includes Kenny Clark and locked cornerback Jaire Alexander. Green Bay’s ceiling situation is not ideal for this type of signing, but it can be done with a bit of restructuring. Watt is said to be 32 – the same age as Reggie White when he arrived in Green Bay. We all know how it went for the Packers.
Keep an eye on …
The Buccaneers offered the plan to catch the Chiefs, and the Bills managed to sack Patrick Mahomes just once in the AFC Championship game. Buffalo is close, and Watt would reinforce a pass rush and be an instant fan favorite. It’s worth a try if the bills can free up some ceiling space.
The Browns lose Olivier Vernon in free agency, but this franchise has been one of the more aggressive teams of the offseason for the past two years. The idea of Myles Garrett and Watt coming off a third-place quarterback is terrifying, and the Browns are certainly in contention now.
Chargers Los Angeles
Can you imagine Watt and Joey Bosa on the same defensive line? First-year coach Brandon Staley got his new job coaching a dominant defensive line with the Rams, and the Chargers have enough talented pieces on that side of the ball. This would help in the pursuit to catch the AFC West chiefs.
New England Patriots
Are the Patriots still a contender? New England have the fourth-most wiggle room, and it would be an aggressive signing that makes sense to both sides. Watt would be successful in Bill Belichick’s plan, and that would give New England another option to rush inside. Chase Winovich led the Pats with 5.5 sacks last season.