J.J. Watt May Be Headed to an NFC Playoff Team if His Wife Has Any Say

NFL legend J.J. Watt has many people trying to recruit him to different teams, as he is a free agent and will not be playing on the Houston Texans for the first time in his career. There have been rumors swirling, connecting him to teams like the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, but if his wife, Kealia Ohai Watt, has any say, J.J. Watt may be headed to an NFC North playoff team — the Chicago Bears.

J.J. Watt is leaving the Houston Texans

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The Houston Texans selected J.J. Watt with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. He then became one of the greatest players in NFL history while in Houston.

With the Texans, Watt led the NFL in sacks twice and recorded 20.5 sacks in two different seasons. He also had 16 sacks or more in four seasons. For his career, Watt has recorded 101 total sacks, which has helped him earn five Pro Bowl and five First-Team All-Pro selections. He has also won three Defensive Player of the Year awards.

However, while Watt helped lead the Texans to some successful seasons, they were one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2020. This appears to be a reason why Watt mutually agreed to part ways with the Texans and is now a free agent.

Watt has since been linked to teams like the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he has also recently been connected to the Chicago Bears.

J.J. Watt’s wife may want him on the Chicago Bears

J.J. Watt and his wife Kealia Ohai Watt at NFL Honors.
J.J. Watt and his wife Kealia Ohai Watt on the red carpet at NFL Honors on Feb. 3, 2018. | Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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J.J. Watt’s wife, Kealia Ohai Watt, is a pro soccer player and plays for the Chicago Red Stars. According to NBC Sports, she is under contract with the Red Stars for the 2021 season.

This has led to some speculation on whether J.J. could sign with the Chicago Bears so that he can be closer to his wife. Kealia has since added fuel to that fire with some likes on Twitter, too.

One tweet that she liked came from Lou Malnati’s Pizza, which said, “[J.J. Watt] we heard you’re looking for a new place to call home. Join #DaBears and we’ll sweeten the deal with pizza for life. Whadda say?”

Another tweet came from ESPN’s Sarah Spain: “Come on over to Chicago, [J.J. Watt]! A whole easier to get to [Kealia’s] games!”

It appears that Kealia would like her husband to play in the same city as her. However, is it realistic?

Is J.J. Watt to the Chicago Bears realistic?

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The Chicago Bears somehow made the playoffs in 2020, but they only had an 8-8 record. J.J. Watt could potentially help that defense get back to its dominant ways, though, as it was 14th in the NFL in points allowed in 2020 after ranking fourth in the league in 2019. However, the pairing doesn’t appear to be too realistic.

The other options for Watt are just much better, especially the Cleveland Browns, who went 11-5 and have a much better quarterback in Baker Mayfield over Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles. What also makes it unlikely is that the Bears probably can’t give him the contract that he wants. According to Over The Cap, the Bears are $2.5 million over the salary cap. That could change with the unclear cap conditions due to COVID-19, but either way, the Bears don’t have a lot of money to spend.

So, if J.J. Watt wants to be on a Super Bowl contender that can give him a decent contract, the Bears aren’t the way to go. If he prioritizes being closer to where his wife plays, though, he may be moving to Chicago in 2021; the Bears would just have to do some work to free up some space for him. Time will tell.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference