Since the Houston Texans released star defensive end JJ Watt, he has moved progressively through the free agency process. It marks the first time in Watt‘s NFL career that he will wear another uniform. With that territory comes plenty of possibilities, which he has now shot down his family’s dream with his next move.
JJ Watt moves on from the Texans
Throughout much of the 2020 season, there developed a growing sense that JJ Watt was playing his final season with the Houston Texans.
Things finally headed in that direction earlier this month as the Texans granted his release from his $17.5 million option for the 2021 campaign. The tenure came to a bittersweet end, but it presents Watt with the chance to find his next NFL home to compete for the Super Bowl.
Over the last couple of weeks. a few NFL teams have entered the picture as potential landing spots. However, one of those will not include the scenario his family hoped to see unfold this offseason.
JJ Watt will crush his family’s dream with his next NFL move
JJ Watt is experiencing free agency for the first time in his illustrious career, putting plenty of possibilities ahead.
Since Watt hit the open market, many have pegged a possible pairing with the Pittsburgh Steelers to team up with his brothers TJ Watt and Derek Watt. However, that scenario hasn’t gained any significant traction, leading longtime NFL insider John Clayton to voice that the Steelers are not a potential landing spot.
The organization is currently projected to be $6 million over the salary cap. The figure could change a bit when the league salary cap for the 2021 season is finalized.
Star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return for another year, which will likely come with him reducing his $41 million salary-cap hit. However, the franchise has some prominent players such as Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, and JuJu Smith-Schuster hitting the free-agent market.
It may not be the matter of the Steelers having the money but having other key free agents they want to bring back. Nonetheless, any chance of Watt joining his brothers in Pittsburgh looks out the window.
Where will he land?
With the Pittsburgh Steelers presumably out of the picture, several other viable teams are making a push.
JJ Watt will have his pick of the litter as he remains a highly-impactful player at this stage of his career. Although teams are waiting for the 2021 salary cap number to be finalized, a strong market has shaped up for the future Hall of Famer.
Reports suggest that the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, and Buffalo Bills are atop the list. The Packers have long been viewed as the favorites due to Wisconsin being his home state while presenting the chance to compete for the Super Bowl.
Green Bay has some financial hurdles to jump through first, as they are a bit over the salary cap at this point. The team could move under the number by cutting Preston Smith and Dean Lowry. Meanwhile, there is growing chatter around extension talk with Davante Adams.
ESPN“s Dianna Russini reports that several offers have been made to Watt, with the best being around $15 million to $16 million per year. The 31-year-old isn’t rushing to get through the process, but it’s quite evident that he has a big decision ahead.