Former Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt has very little incentive to speed up his free-agency process. With the league still more than two weeks away from opening up free agency, Watt can command the attention of Twitter, NFL teams, and the media without the money drying up and he can play teams off one another. Brilliant.
According to a report by Dianna Russini of ESPN, Watt already has a lucrative contract in hand. With teams bidding on his services, he has an offer worth between $15 and $16 million.
It’s a great play by his agents to leak this information, in my opinion.
If Watt does indeed have an offer that high (which is debatable) it’s likely from a team he does not want to play for. If it was from a team he wanted to join, he would have already signed it. This is to put pressure on the teams he is interested in to up their offers.
Watt’s contract with the Texans averaged $16.7 million per season and he was due $17.5 million in base salary in 2021.
On Wednesday, NFL reporter John Clayton said the Bills were among the leading teams for Watt’s services. Buffalo would have to cut several players or restructure contracts to fit Watt under the salary cap.
“Tennessee, Green Bay and Buffalo were the leading teams for J.J. Watt but not the final three. Watt hasn’t narrowed his list. The Cleveland Browns are still in. So are the Raiders. He has a dozen teams after him,” tweeted the former ESPNer.
With a dozen teams interested, some with a lot of cap space and little chance of winning the Super Bowl in 2021, it makes sense a team could throw out a big offer. According to reports, Watt is looking at the QB, overall team, and then the financial windfall for himself before signing with a team.
It’s been two weeks since news broke that Watt would be released by the Texans.