It sure the heck looks like a J.J. Watt trade could be coming once the 2020 NFL season comes to a conclusion. Watt indicated recently that he does not want to be part of a long-term rebuild. Unfortunately, it appears that’s exactly what we’re going to see from the Texans moving forward.
Houston heads into Week 13 with a 4-6 record. It just fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after numerous questionable player personnel decisions. The Texans’ first and second-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft belong to the Miami Dolphins.
Watt is a realist. He knows that the best way to contention as he closes out his career is to be traded. He’s a professional. He’s not going to make it public record. However, more recent drama surrounding the Texans adds another layer to the possibility is moved.
If so, here’s a look at the six likeliest trade scenarios.
J.J. Watt trade to the Cleveland Browns
Teaming Watt up with Myles Garrett would be a dream come true for Browns general manager Andrew Berry. It would create one of the fiercest pass-rush tandems we’ve seen in recent NFL history. Garrett leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles thus far this season.
Cleveland could offer up multiple Day 2 NFL Draft picks in order to take on Watt and his salary. It would certainly improve a defense that’s yielding north of 26 points per game on the season.
J.J. Watt trade to the Seattle Seahawks
To say that Seattle is in need of a pass rush would be a major understatement. Its defense is giving up what would be a record 355.1 passing yards per game. This unit has registered a grand total of 25 sacks in 10 games. Safety Jamal Adams leads the team with 5.5 sacks. Let that sink in for a second.
As of right now, it appears that 2019 first-round pick L.J. Collier is a bust. He’s recorded all of two sacks in 21 career games. Ouch! While the Seahawks don’t have a lot of draft capital after trading for Adams ahead of the 2020 season, they could offer up a third-round pick and Collier in exchange for Watt.
J.J. Watt trade to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bring the old band together in Florida. It’s like the sports version of Golden Girls with the likes of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski doing their thing with the Buccaneers. Why not add Watt to the mix and make it a party?
On the field, Watt makes perfect sense in defensive coordinator’s Todd Bowles’ system. He would team up with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett to form a dominating threesome. Add in Watt’s built-in relationship with the troubled Antonio Brown dating back to their days together with Central Michigan, and this makes perfect sense.
J.J. Watt trade to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Brotherly reunion. Sure it would be hard for Pittsburgh to pull off a Watt trade and remain under the salary cap. But how fun would it be to team up T.J. Watt with his older brother? We’re pretty darn sure that the elder Watt would absolutely love it. Not to mention the fact that Pittsburgh is a legit Super Bowl contender and will be for the foreseeable future.
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There would be no more intimidating defensive line in modern NFL history than the Watt brothers, Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. We would not be shocked if general manager Kevin Colbert considered calling up the Texans this coming spring.
J.J. Watt trade to the Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia continues to get to the quarterback at a great clip. In fact, it is on pace for 56 sacks this season. Brandon Graham is playing tremendous football. Youngsters Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat have both seen an uptick in production.
Even then, adding Watt to the mix would be ideal for the Eagles. He obviously still has a lot left in the tank and would be a tremendous fit. A move of this ilk would also help Philadelphia improve its pass defense. The team heads into Week 12 having yielded 13 passing touchdowns compared to three interceptions.
J.J. Watt trade to the Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden is ruing the day he traded former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. How bad is it in Las Vegas? The Raiders have registered 11 sacks in 10 games. Clelin Ferrell (zero sacks) is on the verge of becoming a bust after being selected in the top five of the 2019 NFL Draft.
As for a potential Watt trade, Gruden has not been afraid to pull off blockbusters of this ilk in the past. Watt would make sense for numerous reasons. None more so than Gruden avenging the above-mentioned Mack fiasco.