In a decision that was tentatively expected, JJ Watt’s time is up in Houston.
Officially, official and everything:
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) February 12, 2021
It’s a move that shouldn’t be unexpected, especially after reports of Watt requesting clarity on his situation surfaced in late January (as if the Texans’ situation didn’t already have enough drama). Nevertheless, a big name has splashed onto the market. And my eyes are wide.
Watt, who turns 32 in March, has been the face of the Texans’ franchise since arriving as a first-round pick in 2011. The fearsome pass-rusher is a five-time first-team All-Pro and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, who notched five Pro Bowl appearances, and earned the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2017. Injuries have slowed him up in recent years, causing him to miss 13 games in 2016, 11 in 2017, and 8 in 2019. But a healthy Watt could bring so much to the table.
I know you’re thinking about it, but I don’t know if I quite see a fit for the Bears. Not unless they’re prepared to move on from another high-priced player elsewhere on the roster and Watt slides in on a bargain deal. Sure, adding another stud defender would be nice. But at this point, bringing on Watt with more pressing needs elsewhere would be kin to adding an unnecessary luxury item at this time. Then again, when the Bears had obvious needs at quarterback and offensive line last year, they splurged on Robert Quinn. So through that lens, I know better than to ever say “never” in a situation like this.