JJ Watt‘s time as a free agent seems to be approaching its conclusion with three groups rising as his potential future employers. The front-runners to signal Watt are the Inexperienced Bay Packers, Buffalo Payments and Tennessee Titans, per NFL Insider John Clayton.
Watt’s curiosity within the Packers is just not a shock, contemplating he performed for the College of Wisconsin and he is a Pewaukee, Wis. native — together with rising up a Packers fan. The Packers have reached the final two NFC Championship Video games and will use some assistance on a defensive position that has recorded 82 sacks over the previous two seasons (tied for eighth-most within the NFL). Including a participant of Watt’s caliber might be sufficient to get Inexperienced Bay to the Tremendous Bowl in a loaded NFC.
The Payments and Watt have proven mutual curiosity and Buffalo could be a perfect match for the three-time Defensive Participant of the 12 months. Buffalo performs 4 down linemen, which performs towards Watt’s strengths on the defensive position. Buffalo is one other staff that reached its convention championship sport final season, tying a franchise document with 13 regular-season victories. The Payments completed with simply 38 sacks final season, tied for fifteenth within the NFL, so including Watt could be a serious enhance to the cross rush.
The Titans are a little bit of a shock finalist, contemplating Watt’s ties with the Pittsburgh Steelers (his brothers play there) and Watt reportedly “significantly contemplating” the Cleveland Browns over the previous week. Tennessee completed with simply 19 sacks final season, which was third-fewest within the NFL, however Watt has a connection to a serious a part of the teaching employees.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was with Watt in Houston for 4 seasons, together with his first two as linebackers coach — when Watt gained his first two Defensive Participant of the 12 months awards. Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen was a defensive assistant with the Texans in 2016 and 2017, spelling extra familiarity for Watt with the defensive system.
Watt performed all 16 video games this previous season and completed with simply 5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, two pressured fumbles, and 29 pressures. He has simply 26.5 sacks over the previous 5 seasons, however his three Defensive Participant of the 12 months awards are tied for probably the most in NFL historical past with Lawrence Taylor and Aaron Donald.
Watt set Texans’ franchise information in sacks (101.0), tackles for loss (172), quarterback hits (282) and compelled fumbles (25) to go along with 531 complete tackles, 61 passes defensed and 16 fumble recoveries. Watt can be the one participant in NFL historical past with 20-plus sacks and 10-plus passes defensed in the identical season (2012 and 2014), and is tied for fifth amongst defensive linemen in league historical past with six regular-season touchdowns. He is additionally the fourth-fastest participant in NFL historical past to succeed in 100 sacks.
The free company saga seems set to finish for Watt, with three groups that might be best selections for the longer term Corridor of Famer.