- J.J. Watt will leave the Houston Texans after 10 years with the team.
- His brother, T.J. Watt, is already recruiting him to team up in Pittsburgh.
- As of Friday, the Steelers were the favourites to land the elder Watt brother.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
After 10 years, J.J. Watt’s time with the Houston Texans has come to an end.
Watt announced he was leaving the team in a video on Twitter, thanking fans for their support over the years and explaining that he had asked the team for his release.
Watt was a titan for the Texans, winning three Defensive Player of the Year awards through his 10 seasons in Houston and for a stretch serving as the most unstoppable defensive force in all of football.
Over the past few seasons, injuries have somewhat hindered his once game-breaking abilities, but at 31 years old, Watt still has a few good years left of NFL football, and now becomes a much-desired asset for any team looking to bring experience and power to its defensive front.
Draftkings Sportsbook has already put out odds on Watt’s next destination. Check out the odds on the favourites below.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
One thing to know: The Steelers are the heavy favourites to land Watt, and it’s easy to imagine why. Watt’s two younger brothers – T.J. and Derek – already play in Pittsburgh, and bringing in J.J. would make for a welcome family reunion. Pittsburgh is also a perennial contender with head coach Mike Tomlin at the helm, having gone without a losing season since 2003.
With Watt’s brother already working to recruit him to Pittsburgh, the trio of brothers teaming up in black and yellow feels like a worthy favourite.
2. Green Bay Packers
One thing to know: Watt’s ties to Wisconsin make the Packers an appealing choice for his next team, as it would allow him to get back to his roots. As an added bonus, the Packers are another team that will be considered Super Bowl contenders at the start of the season. If Watt is looking to win, teaming up with Aaron Rodgers is never a bad choice.
3. Buffalo Bills
One thing to know: Buffalo is another potential destination for Watt. With an up-and-coming offence that could be one of the best in the league come 2021, Watt could serve as an anchor for the defence that was largely middle of the pack last year.
4. Seattle Seahawks
One thing to know: The Seahawks have never shied away from making a free agent splash to sure up their defence, and Watt could be a great match to pair with superstar safety Jamal Adams, who the team brought in last offseason. With the two of them together, the Seahawks defence would be one to watch heading into 2021.
5. Las Vegas Raiders
One thing to know: The Raiders managed just 21 sacks during the 2020 season, the fourth-lowest total in the NFL. Adding Watt would bring a solid veteran presence to the team’s front four, though the Raiders seem a bit further away from a Super Bowl than Watt may want in his next home.
6. Miami Dolphins
One thing to know: The Miami Dolphins are another up-and-coming contender that could be interested in Watt’s services. Teamed up with 2019 first-round pick Christian Wilkins, Watt could help make up one of the more intimidating pass rushes in the AFC.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One thing to know: The Buccaneers showed how the defence can win championships by chasing Patrick Mahomes backward for the entirety of Super Bowl LV. Watt could help them keep that pressure going as they look to repeat as champions.
Other potential destinations:
Outside of the top seven, there are several other potential destinations that Watt could consider. The Chiefs (13/1) could use another big body on the defensive line and are in “win now” mode. The Rams (15/1) have already gone all-in so often that one more contract wouldn’t really make a difference if they can get the money to work, and teaming up with Aaron Donald would make for quite a scene.
One long-shot probably worth skipping? The Houston Texans, at 100/1.
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