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Raiders are reportedly ‘a dark horse contender’ for J.J. Watt

This is the first time that Las Vegas has emerged as a viable option for the former Texans pass rusher

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
J.J. Watt
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

For the first time since future Hall of Fame pass rusher J.J. Watt hit the open market 12 days ago after being released by the Houston Texans, the Las Vegas Raiders have been connected to him.

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.

Clayton later chimed in:

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.