No doubt about it, T.J. Watt has become the face of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. Through four seasons, the edge rusher has racked up 49.5 sacks and has provided pressure unlike any outside linebacker the Steelers may have ever seen—and that is saying a lot. Aside from back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year snubs, T.J. Watt has accomplished a lot in his very young career. But could 2021 finally be the season he puts it all together to a whole new level?
Starting things off on the field, T.J. Watt’s average sacks per game shot up to 1.0 in 2020. He has become a one-sack-per-game player, and has had a knack for causing turnovers. In a 17 game season, if Watt can continue his sack-per-game growth, he will not only shatter James Harrison’s sacks in a season record (16 in 2008), but he could once again lead the entire NFL in this category. Considering Watt’s continued success on the field and how he has slowly gained more and more voters for the leagues prestigious Defensive Player of the Year award, a 17+ sack campaign could finally be enough to put T.J. over the top.
On the training field, T.J. Watt has been getting work in with his brothers J.J. and Derek Watt. Not only in the gym but on the golf course. The sibling rivalries are both alive and well, but it has led to T.J. pushing himself harder than ever before walking into training camp both bigger and leaner than ever before. Going back to looking at pictures of T.J. at his combine in 2017 and compare them to know, he looks to be 20-30 pounds heavier and clearly in better shape.
Next, T.J. Watt is also entering a contract year, but a deal could even be struck before the start of the 2021 season. Many have speculated that Watt could become the NFL’s highest paid defender and the fist defensive player to eclipse the 30 million dollars per year mark. Depending on the length of said deal, T.J. could be looking to add 150-240 million dollars to his net worth... Not bad.
TJ Watt is not exactly comfortable talking about ongoing negotiations on a mega contract extension with the Steelers pic.twitter.com/gtR9XWl50m— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) July 22, 2021
Continuing with the off-field headlines for the youngest Watt brother, T.J. Watt proposed to his long time girlfriend, Dani Rhodes, earlier this month. Watt’s older brothers obviously congratulated the couple but teased their little brother for taking so long. And, oh yeah, that rock is estimated to be worth more than $100,000.
A brand new fiancé, a mega-contract on the way, and has become the face of one of the biggest sports teams in the world, I would certainly think the stars are aligning for T.J. Watt to transfer his success in life onto the football field. And the year 2021 rightfully belongs to him.
But what do you think? Are you expecting a career year from T.J. Watt? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.