The J.J. Watt sweepstakes are likely to heat up in the coming days as the unrestricted free agent can sign anywhere at any time. The Houston Texans agreed to release him before the final year of his contract, and that means Watt does not need to wait for the start of free agency.
Now that Watt is free, there are no concerns about tampering between teams. If he was looking to get traded or released but had not been yet, players on other teams would have to play things a little closer to the vest. With him free to sign anywhere, players from other teams have begun the social media campaigns. His brother T.J. tweeted a picture of The Rock to indicate he was interested in uniting with his brother.
Now, we can add Watt’s former teammate and current Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the mix of players looking to convince Watt to join their squad. Hopkins posted a picture on Instagram showing him embracing Watt and had Watt’s jersey photoshopped in a Cardinals jersey. It included the caption, “Let’s finish what we started.”
Watt and Hopkins played together in Houston from 2013 to 2019 before Nuk was traded to the Cardinals in March of 2020. It was a bizarre trade decision because you generally don’t trade one of the best receivers in the game, and you definitely don’t do it for essentially a second round pick. It was the first sign things were going sideways in Houston.
Watt is not the pass rusher he once was, but he would offer starting talent for most teams and at the very least tremendous situational depth. Last year, the Cardinals ranked ninth in pass defense efficiency and eighth in adjusted sack rate. They have bigger needs, but they also have some cap space to work with this offseason. Over the Cap currently projects Arizona at $13.5 million in cap space for the 2021 season. There are other strong options with more cap space, but it’s definitely doable.