J.J. Watt is officially a free agent.
He’s now open to sign with whomever he chooses.
There are three conceivable moves here…
1) The Legacy Play
J.J. Watt signs with the Green Bay Packers. The Wisconsin kid comes home to chase a Super Bowl ring with his hometown team. His status as Wisconsin sports royalty is cemented forever, regardless of result. By restructuring David Bahktiari’s contract, the Packers are taking steps to free up cap space…not just for a potential Watt signing, but because they have to. Green Bay is still well above the projected salary cap.
2) Family is Everything
His brothers, T.J. and Derek, are both Pittsburgh Steelers. Even as a Packers fan, you have admit the opportunity to play with your brothers on the same NFL team is pretty darn cool. That being said, I don’t believe Pittsburgh is that close to contending. That sounds crazy to say about a team that started 11-0 in 2020. But Ben Roethlisberger’s decline is apparent. The Steelers became incredibly one dimensional on offense down the stretch before being bounced by the Browns in the playoffs. It’d be cool to play with his bros, but this move doesn’t get J.J. much closer to a ring.
3) The Ring Chaser
Tampa. Tennessee. Buffalo. All teams reportedly interested, all teams with legitimate championship aspirations in 2021. These teams would have to offer larger contracts to entice J.J. away from family & legacy.
So, what’s going to happen?
Your guess is as good as mine, but I’ll say this as it pertains to the Packers: don’t worry about money.
If J.J. wants to be a Packer, J.J. will be a Packer.
Now, we wait.