When Green Bay cut linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive lineman Rick Wagner, it was easy to connect some dots and assume the moves were made as part of maneuvering to clear the way for JJ Watt.
After all, the free agent defender is a Wisconsin native, who grew up rooting for the Packers, and played his college ball in Madison. It wasn’t a stretch to envision a Packers pursuit of Watt.
But one reporter doesn’t see how it adds up:
I see where it might look like that, but the #Packers are not going to sign Watt. They have to get under the cap and they have too many others they need to re-sign/extend. Unless the market somehow collapses on him, he'll sign for way more than GB can pay. It's not a good match. https://t.co/tI0GcChICS
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) February 19, 2021
When the Texans set Watt free, I was bracing myself for him to quickly land in Green Bay. But maybe that’s not the case, even if the land of cheese seems like a natural landing spot.
Because even after the cuts, the Packers are still $11,451,306 over the cap per OTC’s estimations. So not only does Green Bay have to get out of the red, it must make additional moves to clear enough space for additions. And in the eyes of Tom Silverstein, a splurge on Watt isn’t in the cards right now.
Or maybe this is a bluff to drive down Watt’s asking price? Or an attempt to nudge him toward taking a home-town discount. I know better than to count out the Packers from anything. Annoying buggers. Which is why it’s important to highlight that Silverstein doesn’t rule out the Pack makes play at Watt. If Green Bay clears salary space and Watt’s market isn’t booming, then perhaps the Packers can coax Watt into a team-friendly deal. Then again, nearly a dozen teams have already checked in with interest in Watt. In other words, do’t expect Watt’s market to unexpectedly crater.
In the end, we’ll continue to monitor Watt’s situation. Part of me hopes there’s a Portillo’s and Lou Malnati’s package sweet enough to lure Watt to Chicago. Even still … I’m not sure the Bears are a realistic landing spot. This leaves me rooting for an AFC contender to swoop in and snag Watt before the Packers (or any NFC contender) can.