JJ Watt may be coming to the AFC North. Just not in Pittsburgh. He could land in the next town over as a Cleveland Brown. According to an article by Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, Watt is seriously considering signing with the Browns.
From her article.
“Released by the Texans on Friday, Watt is seriously considering the Browns as one of his options because they have a lot of what he wants, sources tell cleveland.com.
The two biggest things? Money and a potential Super Bowl. What’s more, they have a strong supporting cast.”
Above all else, Watt wants to play for a winner. Turning 32 next month, he’s never played in an AFC Championship game and made the playoffs just twice since 2016. He most recently played for a tanking Houston Texans team and wants to go somewhere with a better culture and stability. Crazy as it sounds, the Browns are now that kind of team.
Cabot’s article also indicates Watt isn’t interested in taking much of a discount either.
“Watt, 32, also wants to get paid his market value, and the Browns have the cap space to pay him. They’re 10th in the NFL with about $21.7 million in space. Watt was due to make $17.5 million in 2021, and will probably be looking for something in that ballpark.”
Getting $17.5 million per season sounds like a stretch. But whoever signs Watt will have to pony up some serious money. He figures to at least earn $10 million per season.
As we wrote this morning, bringing Watt to Pittsburgh would be a nice story and he’d of course improve the Steelers’ defense. But he’s far from the team’s biggest need and at his reported price tag, a luxury Pittsburgh can’t spend their money on.
Other teams who may have interest in Watt include the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills. It’s unclear when Watt will make a decision on his new home.