Last week the Houston Texans granted J.J. Watt’s request to be released. In the process, they made the 31-year-old one of the most sought-after free agents on the open market.
Although he has become known for being somewhat injury prone in the latter stage of his career, Watt played in 16 games last year. It marked just his second 16-game sleight since 2015, but reminded one and all of how beneficial he can be to a team’s defensive unit when he’s actually on the field.
In 2020 Watt recorded five sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception he returned for a touchdown.
Shortly after Watt’s release was announced, four clear favorites emerged for his services.
This week, the list was whittled down to three.
Those three teams? The Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Watt “is seriously considering the Browns as one of his options because they have a lot of what he wants.”
What does he want?
“Money and a potential Super Bowl,” she wrote. “What’s more, they have a strong supporting cast and a positive environment. Check, check, check, and check.”
The Browns might be on the verge of a massive trade involving Odell Beckham Jr., so if that happens and they add Watt, Cleveland could turn into a legitimate Super Bowl contender next year.
Tennessee is also a viable option. The team’s head coach, Mike Vrabel, was Watt’s defensive coordinator back in 2017 with the Texans.
According to Titans beat writer Terry McCormick, [general manager Jon] Robinson “said he has had some contact with JJ Watt’s representation.”
“We’ll see how it goes,” Robinson said. “See where their interest is and see if it’s an avenue we want to go down and if it’s a fit.”
Finally, the Green Bay Packers are also an option – albeit more of a longshot.
Colin Cowherd brought them up this week as a destination that makes too much sense to ignore.
The Packers are the perfect landing spot for J.J. Watt:
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) February 15, 2021
“J.J. Watt is now on the market…Green Bay is where he should go,” Cowherd said. “I don’t know if it’s the best schematic fit, but I know that Green Bay needs to create momentum. They’re like a barstool missing a leg.”
As for the Texans, losing Watt obviously stings. That said, the writing was on the wall regarding him not being long for Houston. Thankfully, the organization already has a potential replacement for him already living in the very same city.
Klay knows how to do Valentine’s Day right. https://t.co/Gxt1gRLTX2
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 15, 2021
One way or another, a resolution on Watt’s status should come sooner rather than later. He’s not the type of guy to drag this process out, and a decision will likely be announced at some point in the coming weeks.