J.J. Watt could be closing in on his decision. A few weeks after being released by the Houston Texans, the future Hall of Fame edge rusher is reportedly set to pick his free-agent destination within the next week.
Upon his release, Watt generated interest instantly from across the NFL. Teams like the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers were long expected to be suitors, but the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills also got involved early. Not only were they interested in him, but Watt was smitten with Cleveland and there was mutual interest in Buffalo.
After experiencing the wild rush of being pursued in free agency, Watt is almost ready to make a decision.
NFL free agency rumors: Who will J.J. Watt sign with in 2021?
NFL insider Jeremy Fowler appeared on Sunday’s SportsCenter, providing the latest update on J.J. Watt. According to one of the league’s top reporters, Watt has narrowed down his suitors to 3-5 serious contenders and believes something will happen this upcoming week.
Entering Sunday, the Bills are reportedly still in consideration for Watt. Additionally, the Packers and Tennessee Titans are believed to still be in the running. Notably, per Fowler, many league executives believe Watt is the perfect fit for Green Bay and it could be his ultimate destination.
The Packers always made the most logical sense for Watt. He grew up watching the team and grew up in the state, playing football for his hometown crowd until the Houston Texans drafted him with the No. 11 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Watt wants to play in a scheme that maximizes his skills, surrounded by players who can help him get to the quarterback. He had little to help on Houston’s defensive line, resulting in constant double teams and a drop in sacks. In Green Bay, he would partner with Za’Darius Smith, Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary. Green Bay would also allow him to be closer to his wife. Kealia Watt is a professional soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars, just three hours away from Lambeau Field.
However, the financial aspect might make a signing more unlikely. Even after a series of moves, the Packers are way over the 2021 NFL salary cap and they still have to save room for draft picks and their own free agents.
The Browns, Titans and Bills are all in better situations against the cap. Each of them also offers the ability to compete for a Super Bowl, although Tennessee likely has the worst odds of the four teams mentioned.
Following weeks of speculation, it’s clear we’re nearing one of the biggest free-agent decisions of the NFL offseason. Whatever team adds J.J. Watt, will instantly pick up a huge addition for their defense and their Super Bowl hopes will increase significantly.