The Houston Texans and the legendary defensive lineman J.J. Watt have mutually agreed to part ways. With the remaining year of his contract terminated, J.J. is now free to sign with whatever team he chooses. And, because of his release, Watt doesn't have to wait until the beginning of the league year to sign with said team. Of course the Pittsburgh Steelers will be in the thick of the Watt rumors. Already having two of the three Watt brothers under contract, you can rest assured knowing there are recruiters with a lot of leverage within the Steelers building.
Watt’s most likely landing destinations include Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Seattle. I think we can factor out the Seahawks after Russell Wilson’s sudden heel turn on the organization, and Watt having experienced that already with Deshaun Watson in Houston. The Browns and Bills are teams on the rise with cap space, but no ties to Watt. Green Bay has less cap space than the Steelers; however, J.J. spends his offseason in his native Wisconsin. Tampa Bay will see a ton of their cap space eaten up by Lavonte David and Shaq Barrett. While the Steelers are quietly nearing salary cap compliance, and will get their once Ben Roethlisberger restructures his deal, money doesn't look like the real issue at heart here as Watt will have to take some sort of pay cut to sign with any of the betting favorites.
The Steelers (+400) are the favorite to sign J.J. Watt— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) February 12, 2021
(Market: CO/IL Only) pic.twitter.com/wUkR6zUrMm
When it comes to the Steelers 2021 free agency period, adding someone like Watt makes a lot of sense and it goes beyond his on field talent and his need to play with his brothers. One massive factor we need to consider is the Steelers are in line for a massive 2022 compensatory selection hall. Those future selections could be very much in play to allow the Steelers to trade up for a quarterback in a years time. When a player is released from their contract, like Watt, they do not affect the compensatory formula. You’re not going to land anyone else with the talent level of Watt that won't take away one of the potential third round picks the Steelers are set to receive next year.
If you want more reasons as to why the Steelers adding J.J. Watt would be a good idea, its the extreme marketability of the Watt family. The reaction on twitter alone from Steelers fans tells me adding J.J. would skyrocket jersey sales. T-shirt’s inscribed with “WattsBurgh” will be for sale up and down the strip district. Plaques, action figures, clothes, you name it the team would make a fortune on merchandise sales from the brothers. Heck, primary Watt sponsors like Subway, and Reebok will probably push for this move to happen to to drive up sales.
What do you think? Will J.J. Watt land with the Pittsburgh Steelers? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.