There is so much going on with the Houston Texans; it is a lot to keep track of. Their start quarterback is done with the franchise while they are trying to get their new general manager and head coach situated. Among one of the things to keep track of is J.J. Watt’s situation with the team.
Watt’s name has been involved in trade rumors, signaling a break up with the Texans. Athletes are people, too, so hearing the murmurs must be difficult. The three-time defensive player of the year talked about how he deals with the rumors on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
J.J. Watt might not play again for the Texans
Even though their situation with Deshaun Watson is making the headlines, Houston also has a tough situation with their star defensive end. Watt will be entering the final year of his contract, but the feeling around the team is that he has played his last snap as a Texan. In 2020, Watt was critical of the organization and former coach Bill O’Brien. That was the beginning of what could be end of Watt’s career in Houston.
Once the face of the Texan’s franchise, Watt has had an epic career with the Texans. However, injuries have prevented him from fully reaching his capabilities. Watt sacked the quarterback five times this season, with 54 total tackles, seven passes defended, and one interception. He is due to make $17.5 million next year. That hefty number for what is a diminished Watt might be too much for the Texans.
Houston has hired a new general manager and a new head coach. With a new front office coming in, it could signal a rebuild. Watt will be 32 in March, and he still hasn’t had a deep playoff run. This split could be beneficial for both sides. Watt gets a chance to play for a true contender, and the Texans can start building without worrying about locking up an older player on a long-term deal.
Much like the Texans have failed Watson, they have failed Watt also. He has put together some incredible seasons, but all for not in Houston. The team knows they have to decide what to do with Watt, which has sparked potential trade rumors.
“It doesn’t seem like the Texans, who have a new regime in, would reset the table and give him [Watt] a long-term extension,” Mike Garafolo said per NFL.com. “If that’s the case and you’re entering that last year, then perhaps it might be best to just let him go and get a fresh start elsewhere.
J.J. Watt finds vacation as a way to cope with trade talks
All players deal with their names being in trade talk differently. Some like to get ahead of the rumors, while others will pay them no mind. For J.J. Watt, he would much rather enjoy mai-tais on the beaches of Hawaii. He could end up back there because the speculations about his next NFL destination are going to intensify.
“I process it by going to Hawaii for a week. I probably should have stayed there,” said Watt, per The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. “We were enjoying mai tais by the pool. That was a good way for me to cope with it, and I might just head back there.
If this is how he feels about his name in trade discussions, imagine how Deshaun Watson must feel. The uncertainty of the future is the business of the NFL, and Watt would rather escape that uncertainty with a relaxing vacation. He has nothing better to do, given his team is already in offseason mode.
Even though a vacation is a therapeutic way to handle the speculation, it won’t stop the rumors from continuing to swirl. The Texans could give Watt a permanent vacation from the team should they decide to move on. What are some potential landing spots for the five-time All-Pro selection? One of them could result in a family reunion.
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Although he has battled through some injuries during his career, Watt still has a lot of juice left in the tank. He played in all 16 games last season, which is a great sign for Watt’s health. He’s played in every game only two times over the last five seasons. His production isn’t the same, but Watt can still be an exceptional player on a contending team.
One of the places Watt was asked about was in Pittsburgh with the Steelers. Watt would be a great addition to a defense who led the league in sacks with 56, per Covers.com. He would join an elite front with Cameron Hayward, Bud Dupree, and T.J. Watt. Pittsburgh has both T.J. and Derek Watt on their roster. All three brothers never played on the same team, which would be a unique experience for J.J. Watt.
“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.
The Houston Texans have a big decision to make with one of the most prominent players. It’s good that J.J. Watt isn’t letting the speculation ruin his offseason. Watt’s names in trade talks require him to go to his happy place, which is in Hawaii with some mai tais on the beach.