J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans have mutually agreed to part ways after 10 seasons. Establishing himself as a Houston hero both on and off the field. Now, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year will look to join a Super Bowl contender for the final few years of his illustrious career.
NFL Free Agency officially begins on March 17. This allows Watt to talk with every team he wants and leaves him with plenty of time before making a decision. Watt has missed a total of 32 games in the last 5 seasons. However, this will not stop teams from taking a risk on the future Hall of Famer.
An opportunity to acquire a player with Watt’s leadership and ability does not come around often. So, here are 3 teams that should make a push to bring in the soon-to-be 32-year-old.
No. 3 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Watt wants to win a ring, so why not join the team that just won one? The Buccaneers already have a ton of talent on the defensive side of the football. But, the addition of J.J. Watt could be the piece they need to run it back next year.
Having the ability to include a guy like J.J. Watt with the Bucs defensive line is clearly intriguing. Pairing him with a player like 2020 Pro-Bowler Jason-Pierre Paul would be a lot to handle for opposing offensive lines.
The Buccaneers have a variety of free agents to handle this offseason. Including the likes of wide receiver Chris Godwin, linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh just to name a few.
Tampa Bay will make it a priority to re-sign some of their big-name free agents. But, it makes sense for both J.J. and the Buccaneers to get a deal done if they are hoping to hoist another Lombardi Trophy next year.
No. 2 – Green Bay Packers
J.J. Watt is a Wisconsin Native and likely wouldn’t mind coming home for his final few seasons. In addition to this, the Packers have proven themselves to be legitimate contenders in the league. Although they have come up short in recent seasons, Watt could very well be the solution to their problem.
Aaron Rodgers wants to win another Super Bowl before he enters retirement. Now is the time for the Packers to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
Green Bay recently gained some cap flexibility due to LT David Bakhtiari restructuring his contract.
This $8.3M allows for the Packers to focus on bringing back some of their key free agents while also keeping the door open with a guy like J.J. The Packers already have a solid foundation on defense. Adding someone like Watt could be what it takes for the Packers to win their 5th Super Bowl.
No. 1 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Both J.J. Watt’s younger brothers — outside linebacker T.J. Watt and fullback Derek Watt — already play in Pittsburgh. For this reason alone, the Steelers are the most appealing landing spot for J.J. Watt.
Even without the family aspect, this still is a very logical move for both sides to get done. If the Steelers lose linebacker Bud Dupree in free agency this offseason, J.J. Watt could help offset the loss they would see without him.
However, Pittsburgh would have to get creative with their cap space if they hope to get a deal done. The retirements of center Maurkice Pouncey and tight end Vance McDonald have opened up some wiggle room. But, more money would need to be allocated to getting Watt in Pittsburgh if they wanted him.
Adding Watt and his leadership — especially with Ben Roethlisberger so close to retirement — could be exactly what the Steelers need to win another championship.