NFL legend J.J. Watt surprised everyone when he recently announced his decision to sign with the Arizona Cardinals. While several reports linked Watt to multiple teams, not many people had been mentioning the Cardinals. Arizona is going to give him a significant amount of money, too, but it wasn’t the most that a team offered him. In fact, by agreeing to a deal with the Cardinals, J.J. Watt turned down more money and a chance to get revenge.
J.J. Watt agreed to a deal with the Arizona Cardinals
J.J. Watt became a legendary NFL player with the Houston Texans. He ultimately won three Defensive Player of the Year awards and led the NFL in sacks twice. Watt also recorded 20.5 sacks in two seasons while in Houston and 16 sacks or more four times.
However, after seeing the Texans become one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2020, Watt parted ways with the team that drafted him. Several teams were then linked to Watt in rumors, but on March 1, J.J. Watt announced his decision to sign with the Arizona Cardinals.
According to ESPN, a source said to Adam Schefter that the two-year deal is reportedly worth $31 million with $23 million guaranteed.
“I’m excited to get started,” Watt said, according to ESPN. “Very excited to get started, get to work, get to know the people of Arizona.”
The deal reunites him with his former star Texans teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who moved to the Cardinals via a shocking trade from Houston last offseason.
It appears that Watt may have gotten what he wanted with the Cardinals. They are a decent team, and he is going to get paid a significant amount of money. He, however, could have reportedly gone to a better team that could have also given him more money and a chance at revenge.
The Indianapolis Colts reportedly offered J.J. Watt more money
According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Watt turned down better offers from at least two other teams to play for the Cardinals. Gambadoro reported that both the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts offered him more money.
Had he agreed to a deal with the Colts, though, Watt not only could have potentially made more money, but he could have also gotten revenge on the Houston Texans. The Colts and Texans are both in the AFC South and play each other twice a season. Watt would have had the chance to play the Texans multiple times each year, which has been pretty challenging for AFC South teams in the past. Watt has recorded 18 sacks on the Tennessee Titans in his career, 17 on the Jacksonville Jaguars, and 13 on the Colts.
Houston allowed 50 sacks in 2020, which was the second-most in the NFL. Watt could have had the chance to wreak havoc on the Texans had he decided to join the Colts.
Watt would have also had the opportunity to do something else with the Colts, in addition to making more money and getting his revenge. He could have contended for a Super Bowl.
The Indianapolis Colts have a chance to contend for a Super Bowl
What’s peculiar about J.J. Watt joining the Cardinals is that Arizona wasn’t an excellent team in 2020. They were just OK, as they went 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
The Colts went 11-5 in 2020 and barely lost in the wild-card round to the Buffalo Bills. They also already have a top 10 defense in terms of points allowed. Watt could have potentially made that defense even better and could have also helped the Colts take that next step toward Super Bowl contention. According to Over the Cap, Indianapolis also has more cap space than the Cardinals, so they have a chance to only get better, too.
J.J. Watt is probably happy just to be out of Houston and now on a team that contended for a playoff spot last season. Had he gone to the Colts, though, Watt could have made more money, contended for a Super Bowl, and could have gotten his revenge on the Houston Texans.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference