In a radio interview on Wednesday, veteran NFL reporter John Clayton listed the Raiders as a “dark horse” contender —behind the three favorites: Buffalo, Tennessee and Green Bay — to land Watt.
.@JohnClaytonNFL says JJ Watt won't be coming to Pittsburgh. Tennessee, Green Bay, and Buffalo are the 3 teams. Raiders as a dark horse.— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) February 24, 2021
Clayton later chimed in:
People are misinterpreting what I said on radio today. I said Tennessee, Green Bay and Buffalo were the leading teams for J.J. Watt but not the final three. Watt hasn't narrowed his list. The Cleveland Browns are still in. So are the Raiders. He has a dozen teams after him.— John Clayton (@JohnClaytonNFL) February 24, 2021
I have known Clayton for 24 years since we covered the Seattle Seahawks together, so I called him Wednesday afternoon to discuss his report. Clayton said he thinks the Raiders have a lesser chance to sign Watt than the Titans, Packers and Bills because of salary-cap room. It’s clear the Raiders won’t have much to spend on Watt, with other needs, even though finding pass rushers is their biggest goal this offseason.
But Clayton noted in our conversation that because the Raiders have huge needs on defense, it’s not a shock they are in the Watt mix.
It doesn’t seem like Raiders fans should get excited about a potential Watt signing ... but it’s interesting that there is finally a report linking them to Watt.