One of the players who will get much attention from NFL teams this offseason is J.J. Watt. Watt is now a free agent, looking for a new place to call home. At 31-years old, there are still some years of football left in his career. One of the things he is looking for in his next team is the chance to win a championship. The Pittsburgh Steelers could give him that opportunity.
The Steelers had a disappointing end to their 2020 season but should be considered legit Super Bowl contenders. Adding Watt to an already dominant defense would be a huge pickup for the Steelers. One local Pittsburgh business is willing to make a big business decision if their team can land J.J. Watt.
J.J. Watt could have a family reunion in Pittsburgh
More than a dozen teams reportedly interested in J.J. Watt’s services, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Watt, when healthy, still has the skills to be a top-tier defensive end. After he was released at his request by the Houston Texans, one player’s recruitment tactics stood out from the rest. His brother, T.J. Watt, tweeted at him, signaling a family reunion could happen in Pittsburgh.
If J.J. Watt were to join the Steelers, things would be much simpler for the Watt household. T.J. is already on the team, making a name for himself as a ferocious pass rusher. Derek Watt is also on the team as a fullback. Having all three Watts on the same team would be a first for the brothers. J.J. has never played on a team with his brothers but did acknowledge how much fun (or trouble) that could bring.
“Derek and T.J. have played together in high school, college, and the NFL, which is unbelievable, but we never all played on the same team. I’m not sure it’s physically possible just from a bantering standpoint….Just, like, childhood games,” said Watt, per The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
The Steelers do have a legit need for another pass rusher to join the squad. Having one Watt on each side of the defensive line should make opposing quarterbacks cringe. If the Pittsburgh Steelers can have all the Watt brothers on their team, a local Pittsburgh business is willing to make a game-changing decision.
Local Pittsburgh business will change name if Steelers sign J.J. Watt
Many teams will do what they can to sign the three-time defensive player of the year. One local Pittsburgh business really wants their team to have all three Watt brothers on the team. Primanti Bros. is a local sandwich shop that has been around the Pittsburgh area since 1933. They’ve seen their fair share of Steelers football and now are making a desperate plea for their team to sign the third Watt brother.
The longtime sandwich shop tweeted at Derek and T.J. Watt, saying that if they get the Steelers to sign J.J., Primanti Bros. will change their name to the Watt Bros. That shows the sacrifice fans are willing to make to bring in the top talent for their city’s football team.
It’s unlikely that this name change will be permanent, as the restaurant’s family history is too deep to change the name over a trifecta of brothers. However, there could be free meals or discounts for the Watt brothers if all three are on the Steelers. What would be even more incredible is if the local sandwich shop named a sandwich after the Watts.
Getting Watt to join his brothers in Pittsburgh is more than just sending a tweet. The Steelers have to mess around with their budget, as they have quite the financial situation. Their finances could prevent the Watt family reunion in Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a difficult financial situation
All teams in the NFL will have to analyze their financial situations coming into the offseason. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is causing the league’s salary cap to drop. According to Adam Schefter, it is projected to be around $180-181 million, which is lower than the $198.2 million teams had last offseason. The Steelers are well over that number based on projections.
Pittsburgh is currently $30 million over the cap, according to overthecap.com. However, they will save some money thanks to Vance McDonald and Maurkice Pouncey retiring. They will still have to make more roster moves in order to get more cap compliant. One of the biggest things they’ll have to do is restructure Ben Roethlisberger’s contract.
With all the financial limitations Pittsburgh has, it doesn’t make it likely that it’ll be the source of the Watt family reunion. There could be a situation where he might have to play on the league minimum to join his brothers. Who knows if Watt is willing to make such a sacrifice to play in Pittsburgh. Playing with the Steelers gives him two things he wants though: to play with his brothers and a chance at a championship.
The J.J. Watt sweepstakes have already begun, and the race for his talents will be intense. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be a team in contention for Watt, hopefully reuniting him with his brothers. The team has the support of one of their local businesses, as they are willing to change their longtime name if the Steelers can sign the defensive legend.