It is the end of an era in Houston as the Texans feel likely to move on from DE JJ Watt. Since coming into the league in 2011, there has been no more opposing threat to offensive linemen than Watt. Watt is on the top 10 sack seasons of all time with 20.5 twice, once in 2012 and again in 2014. Arguably the greatest player in franchise history is now heading towards free agency, and he shall have plenty of suitors. Let’s go over the 5 best landing spots for JJ Watt.
Let me begin by stating this: These predictions are based on team fit alone, not by teams who can afford to sign him.
5. Dallas Cowboys
This would be a simple move, wouldn’t it? Just heading up I-45 North 3 hours to Dallas. The Cowboys have a proven pass rusher in DeMarcus Lawrence, but opposite him has been guys like Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory. If you can slide a future Hall of Famer in along Lawrence, you have a formidable pass rush that can go toe-to-toe with Football Team’s unit as best in the division. Plus, how good would JJ Watt look in a Cowboys uniform.
4. New York Jets
What a great way to welcome Robert Saleh to New York than by giving him some shiny new toys. The Jets desperately need help on both sides of the ball, and you can instantly bring in a guy who can anchor the defense in JJ Watt. Their defensive unit had only 31 sacks last season, and by adding Watt you can expect his leadership and work ethic alone can help bolster that number. Pairing him with a defensive-minded coach like Saleh makes so much sense.
3. Cleveland Browns
God, imagine pairing JJ Watt with Myles Garrett. On the surface, it doesn’t sound like the Browns need help on the defensive line. But the Browns only had 38 sacks last season even while having Garrett. Adding a guy the caliber of Watt can help take some of the pressure off of Garrett and allows more one-on-one matchups. Thus, creating more opportunities for both Garrett, Watt, and others on defense. The Browns have over 25 Million in cap space so they can afford to make the splash signing that can help get them over the hump in the AFC.
2. Las Vegas Raiders
I will never understand trading away Khalil Mack, then coming out and saying “It’s hard to find a great pass rusher.” Well, it may not be a long term fix since Watt is 31, but Vegas can have their premier pass rusher again. The Raiders have been awful at rushing the passer over the past few years, including a 4th worst 21 this season. While Vegas does have promising prospects in Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell, bringing in a guy like JJ Watt to help mentor these young guys, help stop the run and get to the Quarterback. This fit seems like a match made in heaven, but there is one clear cut favorite here.
1. Green Bay Packers
Think about it: Wisconsin born kid, played college ball at Wisconsin, and still has land and a big property in the state. What better way to cap off a legendary career than going home and playing for your hometown team. The Packers didn’t do much to address their defense last offseason, especially in the draft, so now you have a plug and play anchor on defense. After suffering back to back losses in the NFC Championship, you need that one guy who can spark your team and help get you over the hump. The Packers can have that guy in JJ Watt.