Last month, we ran a poll about star pass rusher J.J. Watt in case he would be eventually released by the Houston Texans.
By a small margin, this community was in favor of a Las Vegas Raiders’ pursuit of Watt.
It is now time to consider the option of Watt ending up with the Raiders as the Texans did indeed release him on Friday. He will now be free to sign with any team.
According to DraftKings, the Raiders have the fifth lowest odds of landing Watt at 11-1.
Odds aside, I’d think some of the best possible landing spots for Watts are:
Pittsburgh Steelers (Watt’s brothers play there)
Green Bay Packers (he’s from Wisconsin)
Chicago Bears (his wife plays soccer there)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Super Bowl champs)
Kansas City Chiefs (great chance to win and prior Super Bowl champs)
New England Patriots (Bill Belichick factor)
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
I do think the Raiders will be interested as Watt is a Jon Gruden kinda guy. He’s an alpha, he’s a leader and he is a proven vet. Gruden will surely be interested and, of course, the Raiders’ greatest need is pass rusher. Having Watt mentor Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell would be invaluable for the franchise and the players.
But the Raiders can’t overpay for Watt and there will be a lot of competition for his services.
However, there are also some red flags here. Watt will be 32, he has missed a lot of time due to injuries in recent years and he had just 5.5 sacks in 2020.
Watt will be 32 in March, has played in just 48 of his team's last 80 games, had 5.5 sacks over 16 games this year & his contract called for him to make $17.5M in 2021. Covid likely to cut total salary cap as well. Why would teams want to trade instead of wait for the cut? https://t.co/AfZXAXfaPS— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) February 12, 2021
But, in the short term, adding a player and a person the caliber of Watt is worth pursuing for Las Vegas.