The Houston Texans have limped through the first half of the 2020 season. The Texans’ struggles have pushed forward dialogue around star defensive end J.J. Watt‘s long-term future with the franchise. There may have been yet another indication that Watt’s time in Houston is coming to a close.
Texans falling out of the playoff picture
The Houston Texans entered the 2020 season hoping to build off last year’s success.
The Texans have instead quickly fallen out of the playoff picture, losing six out of their first eight games. The franchise has struggled to find any consistency after dropping their first four contests.
Houston’s defensive woes have been at the center of their shortcomings as they rank fourth-worst giving up 30.3 points, 30th in total yards allowed per game, and last against the run. They have also given up at least 30 points five times this season and north of 25 points in each game.
Their offense hasn’t fared much better, tied for 21st with 24.1 points per contest while their running game is second-last with 87.6 rushing yards per game. The Texans possess glaring holes on both sides of the ball that have pushed the franchise far from competing for a Super Bowl.
All that may wind up costing the franchise one of their longtime cornerstone pieces in J.J. Watt.
NFL execs believe J.J. Watt will be gone after the 2020 season
During the Houston Texans’ porous start to the 2020 season, there has continued to be chatter around J.J. Watt’s future.
The discussion continues to gain ground as the Texans are far from being a franchise that can compete for a Super Bowl in the immediate future. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, a source close to the situation voiced that the organization is well aware that Watt is more than likely gone after the 2020 campaign.
“At the end of the day, Cal (owner Cal McNair) respects J.J. too much to hold him back. I think everyone in their hearts already knows he is going to be moving on. He’s done everything they could have ever asked for, and this chapter is closing.”
The 31-year-old has been one of the faces of the franchise throughout much of his career. Watt is currently in the fifth year of his six-year, $100 million deal, which includes no dead cap hits for his $17.5 million owed to him in the 2021 season.
The pathway is there for Watt to see his tenure with the Texans finished after this year. His future is in his hands to decide what he wants to do in the next chapter in his career.
Super Bowl aspirations will dictate the future
Through his first nine-plus seasons with the Houston Texans, J.J. Watt has accomplished it all at an individual level.
What is left unchecked is winning a Super Bowl that could further round out his NFL legacy. There may be a strong desire to stay with the franchise that gave him a chance to shine, but his Super Bowl hopes may be best served with another team.
If Watt does become a free agent next offseason, there will be many teams lined up to add the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. The Green Bay Packers would be pinned as the early favorites given that they play in his home state of Wisconsin and possess a Super Bowl-contending roster.
Only time will tell what will unfold after the 2020 season, but it’s quite clear Watt will have a massive decision ahead.