2020 Offseason Questions: How Do T.J. Watt And Myles Garrett Compare?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.

The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.

How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: How do T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett compare?

With news that the Cleveland Browns are in the process of making Myles Garrett the highest-paid player in NFL history, it’s understandable that T.J. Watt’s name is now coming up. Both were taken in the same draft class. Both are in the same division. Both play the same position of edge defender. Both are very talented and have had great careers.

The Browns have determined that Garrett is worth $25 million per season. There is a clear case to be made that Garrett is the more physically talented player between the two. There is also an argument to be made that he is the better player between the two and will go on to have a better career.

Had he not gotten suspended with six games left to play last season, Garrett no doubt would have been a Pro Bowler and All-Pro along with Watt. He may have been in the running for Defensive Player of the Year as well.

So far in 37 games played, he has 30.5 sacks, with 65 quarterback hits and 32 tackles for loss, with six forced fumbles and four passes defensed. In 47 games—keep in mind, that’s 10 full games more than Garrett has played—Watt has 34.5 sacks, 70 quarterback hits 36 tackles for loss, 15 forced fumbles, three interceptions, and 18 passes defensed.

Not that the numbers tell the full story, but it’s one way of comparison.

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