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Texans Trading J.J. Watt To Seahawks Or Saints?

Texans Trading J.J. Watt To Seahawks Or Saints?

J.J. Watt is in the midst of a rough season. The Houston Texans are currently 1-6 and tied for the worst record in the AFC South with the perpetually awful Jacksonville Jaguars. The Tennessee Titans are in the midst of another strong campaign, and the Indianapolis Colts are not far behind – so the divisional crown is officially out of reach for Houston. Moreover, the Texans won’t even immediately be able to benefit from their horrific 2020 campaign, because they dealt away their 2021 first and second round selections to the Miami Dolphins in the Laremy Tunsil trade.

At this point, the writing is on the wall – Watt will be traded. That is the front office’s only realistic path to any sort of roster upgrades. The 31-year-old still has a ton left in the tank, but not enough to outlast an inevitable and extremely necessary Texans rebuild. That will require the sort of time that is not available to Watt at this juncture of his career.

At the moment, there are two realistic suitors for Watt’s services: the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.

Seattle is currently is the worst team in the NFL at defending against the pass. As a group, the Seahawks have recorded eight total sacks. This past week’s showdown against the Arizona Cardinals proved that relying on Russell Wilson to compensate for the team’s inept defense will not always work. Watt is no longer the player he was when he won multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards, but he has recorded 24 total tackles, 5 tackles for losses, 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble this season. He would be an instant difference-maker in Pete Carroll’s defense.

This week, Corbin Smith and Rob Rang of the Locked On Seahawks podcast proposed an interesting prospective trade for Watt that would involve the team’s second round and fifth round draft picks.

“You get the sense that when you look at what JJ Watt is going through, he’s 1-6 in Houston, he’s not getting any younger, he’s had some injury issues,” Smith said. “I know he loves the city of Houston, but you’ve got to wonder if the opportunity was there for him to go to a team like the Seahawks that’s clearly one of the front-runners in the NFC and their biggest need is his position.

“You’ve got to wonder if that would at least be something that John Snyder would call the Texans about saying, ‘Look you guys are going to be rebuilding and you need draft picks.’ Maybe they would consider doing it. Now that particular deal though would leave you with just three draft picks and no picks till the fourth round.”

 

While it seems unlikely that Houston will want to deal Watt for anything other than a first rounder, the Seahawks gave theirs away in the Jamal Adams trade. Plus, it’s hard to see who would really offer them something more given Watt’s injury history and age.

Case in point: the other team that could legitimately make a play for Watt’s services in the Saints. A trade recently proposed by The Athletic centered around New Orleans getting Watt for a second round draft pick and a conditional third rounder in 2021. That is what the market for Watt looks like right now.

While the Saints don’t need Watt as badly as Seattle does, the idea of him alongside Cameron Jordan, Trey Hendrickson and Marcus Davenport is certainly tantalizing. It would create a perfect playing time-sharing opportunity that would likely go a long way in ensuring everyone remains healthy with no drop off in overall production.

The big question in all this is where Houston’s front office stands. Are they willing to sell high on Watt now, knowing that there is no Super Bowl run in the team’s near future? Or do they want to re-invest in him and try to somehow rebuild on the fly, which is seems like an extremely far-fetched proposition?

At this stage, a trade for Watt feels unavoidable. Where he will ultimately end up remains to be seen.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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