Throughout the 2020 season, questions about J.J. Watt‘s future remained around the Houston Texans. Those doubts continued to fester as the Texans moved toward a disappointing finish. Watt has further clouded his situation with his latest comments.
Texans finish disappointing 2020 season
The Houston Texans closed out their discouraging 2020 season with a crushing 41-38 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
The Week 17 contest had a bit of everything that encapsulated the Texans’ season quite perfectly. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson made the most of the situation by putting together another stellar outing. Watson completed 28-of-39 passes for 365 yards with three touchdowns to an interception and held a 115.9 passer rating.
His play helped guide his team back from a second-half double-digit deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter. However, Houston saw their defensive woes hurt them by giving up 482 total offensive yards. The bulk of that came from 288 rushing yards with star running back Derrick Henry pounding them for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Despite that, Watson battled his team back and allowed kicker Kaimi Fairbairn to tie the game at 38 with 18 seconds left in regulation. However, it was the Texans’ defense that doomed them again, giving up a 52-yard reception to A.J. Brown that put the Titans in position to hit a game-winning field goal.
In many ways, Houston’s season ended the way it started in disappointment.
J.J. Watt uncertain about his future with Texans
With the 2020 season wrapped up for the Texans, it shifts the attention directly to J.J. Watt’s future.
Watt is entering the final year of his six-year, $100 million deal that is a $17.5 million team option. There remains much uncertainty whether the 31-year-old will return, which he clouded further with his Week 17 postgame comments. (H/T Yahoo Sports)
“Yeah, I mean, I’ve certainly considered it,” Watt said. “Who knows. Like I said this week, there’s too many unknowns to really know. But if it is, I really — it’s unfortunate that it wasn’t in front of a full stadium and all the fans, and it’s unfortunate it wasn’t a win, it’s unfortunate it was in this type of a season. But who knows. Like I said, there’s a lot of unknowns.
“But I think this city knows, I hope they know how I feel about them and how thankful I am. I’ve tried to do everything I possibly can and give everything I possibly have.”
Watt repeatedly voiced his frustration with how the 2020 season unfolded throughout the last several weeks. Now that the year is over, it leaves much doubt around his future.
There is a desire to return, but that decision is out of his hands.
Houston holds control of the situation
J.J. Watt is in a spot where he has no control over his contractual situation with the Texans.
The final year of his contract holds no dead-cap hit for the 2021 season until the team picks it up. Houston hasn’t made it clear about what they plan to do with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Watt’s production dipped with only 5.0 sacks, but he has plenty of gas left in the tank to be a significant factor defensively. The Texans have the chance to keep him in tow for at least next season, but they could flip him in a trade or choose not to pick up the $17.5 million option.
If Watt winds up on the open market, several teams will line up to secure his services. It’s all on the Texans to decide what direction they will head.