The National Football League continues to offer the best drama in the sports world, despite still six months without a meaningful game to play. The league, with its 32 teams across the league, each has their own storylines that they can follow in the off-season to satisfy the constant hunger for live-action football.
When it comes to the Houston Texans, almost all of these headlines are derived from negativity. Franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson is now embroiled in a peek at the front office after relationships turned sour and Watson requested a deal.
Watson isn’t the only Houston superstar looking to get off (shouting to James Harden) as defensive end JJ Watt was recently released to pursue greener pastures. A player with Watt’s résumé (three-time Defensive Player of the Year just to get things going) rarely goes on the open market, so naturally people wanted to try and get some clue as to where Watt might sign.
Ultimately, Watt signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals valued at $ 31 million ($ 23 million guaranteed) after being associated with teams including the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, and Green Bay Packers, among others .
And yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers were indeed pinged by many to attract Watts’ talent, and even served as betting favorites at some point during the process. The prospect of playing for a playoff team that included two of his brothers, a Hall of Fame quarterback, and an already talented defender was undoubtedly attractive. Now, however, Watt is in the desert, leaving the hope of a third Watt in Pittsburgh to both Photoshops and Madden players.
To be honest, that’s fine.
This doesn’t matter to Watts as he sets up a case to be one of the league’s greatest defensive players when he decides to hang his cleats. His talents would improve any team, and the Steelers are included in this theoretical scenario.
However, the dream of “JJ Watt to Pittsburgh” seemed to be just that … A dream.
Perhaps later on, Watt will be ready to team up with his relatives and do family-level business. Despite being 32 in a few weeks’ time, Watt has the feeling that there is still a lot of gasoline in his tank.
“My wife and I are very excited to be here. Mr. Bidwill, Steve (Keim), everyone here has been amazing so far and I’m just looking forward to getting started,” said Watt shortly after the signing from Arizona.
“I’m really excited to go to work, meet the people of Arizona, and go to work and help them win a championship. The only thing I can promise you is that I will fuck my ass every one I’m going to cut off the day to make you proud. I’m very proud to be part of the bird gang and the Red Sea, so let’s get started. “
As mentioned, Watt would be of great help to any team ready to take him on. However, on a line of defense with endpoints like Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, it is very unlikely that any of the above players would accept a rotating role, let alone go inside to perform nose attacks, as some have suggested.
It would have been difficult to get the fit on the field, and maybe even more difficult on the field. The Steelers are still in the negative on the projected salary cap, and any available cap should be used wisely to either keep current players or improve other positions.
To be honest, Watt never took a friendship discount to play football, at least not at this point in his career. With an average of $ 15.5 million for his new deal and reports that more money is being thrown at him, it is very evident that Pittsburgh’s monopoly money was not enticing enough to Watt.
While the Steelers haven’t landed his talents, Baltimore, Cleveland or any other strong AFC competitor cannot say otherwise. When you combine the talent that is already on the defensive end, the need to strengthen other positions, and the financial headroom Watt would have had, it’s probably for best that Watt didn’t end up in black and gold.
Donnie Druin is a staff writer at AllSteelers. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin and AllSteelers @si_steelers.