The Pittsburgh Steelers love their family ties. Everyone knows this.
Whether you’re talking about the Edmunds brothers, the Watt brothers, or now the Herbig brothers, Mike Tomlin has openly commented about how he values family bloodlines in a multitude of ways.
What has come to light recently was how the Steelers were considered in the biggest name, as it pertains to family ties.
When the Houston Texans made it known J.J. Watt was going to be released, everyone assumed the Steelers would be on the short list of teams he would consider. Many scoffed at the idea, stating it was only about the Watt name and completing the trifecta of Watt brothers.
As it turns out, J.J. had the Steelers on his list of potential teams, this before he chose the Arizona Cardinals as his next, and final, stop of the NFL career. What prevented Watt from going to Pittsburgh? His brother’s contract negotiations.
OH WOW: Future Hall of Famer, J.J. Watt almost signed with the #Steelers in 2021 to play with his brothers.— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) July 9, 2023
“They were on the list,” Watt said of the #Steelers when reflecting on his decision-making process. “It certainly would have been awesome to play with my brothers, but… pic.twitter.com/2Fs2hTrXec
At that time, T.J. was hoping for an extension before entering the final year of his rookie contract. His oldest brother didn’t want his presence, or any negotiations on that end, getting in the way of his youngest brother’s chance at his first big contract as a professional.
With J.J. Watt moving on with his life’s work, fans are only left to wonder what could have been if J.J. joined the Steelers back when he was looking for a new home. Would it have made a difference? I guess we’ll never know, but it certainly would have been exciting to consider.