The Houston Texans released defensive end J.J. Watt on Friday, ending the decade-long relationship after Watt asked for his release. Watt was due to earn $17.5 million this year but appeared to be unhappy with the direction of the organization and was ready to move on.
Watt is not the pass rusher he once was, but he is still a capable option for any team looking to add depth to their defensive front. It will cost a fraction of the $17.5 million he was due in Houston, and the market should be a healthy one.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sit over the cap, but are likely to at least kick the tires. T.J. Watt, J.J.’s brother and runner-up for 2020 Defensive Player of the Year made his interest known shortly after J.J. announced he was leaving Houston. There have been rumors of a family reunion in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers are currently projected to be $30.6 million over the cap. They’ll clear cap space between now and the start of the new league year in March, but it’s not going to be easy.
DraftKings Sportsbook unveiled odds on Friday morning for where Watt might land in 2021. The numbers are available in Colorado and Illinois, but also help us get a better handle on the public perception of the market. It’s no surprise the Steelers are installed as +450 favorites. Even without cap space, there will be plenty of chatter about all three Watt brothers playing together.
The Miami Dolphins (+1100), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1100), and Indianapolis Colts (+1200) are all intriguing. All three made the playoffs this past year and all three have significant cap space heading into 2021. Over The Cap currently projects the Dolphins at $27.9 million in cap space, the Bucs at $28.3 million, and the Colts at $69.2 million. The Colts had the worst adjusted sack rate of the three last year, but still ranked 12th overall. Watt might be viewed as a bit of a luxury for all three, but with the kind of cap space they have and where they stand in competing for a Super Bowl, they all make sense.