According to a tweet from ESPN’s Ed Werder, the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of a dozen teams showing some level of interest in the newly released JJ Watt.
From NFL sources
NFL sources: Approximately a dozen teams have shown interest in JJ Watt since he became an immediate unrestricted free agent. Included among those teams are the #Steelers, #Browns, #Bills and #Titans.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) February 13, 2021
Watt’s connection to Pittsburgh comes from obvious ties with brothers TJ and Derek Watt. The eldest Watt may be willing to take less money and a lesser role in order to come to Pittsburgh. The question is if the Steelers have enough interest in signing Watt to pair with his two brothers. “Shown interest” can mean a lot of things but Werder’s report of course is noteworthy.
Pittsburgh is limited financially and also has two All-Pro caliber players in Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, making Watt’s fit in the Steel City muddied. But Pittsburgh may at least be doing their homework on Watt, who can still play at a high level. Injuries and bad defenses have held him back in recent years.
Watt is reportedly going to take at least the weekend before making a decision on his next team. It’s the first time in his career he’s been a free agent. Houston officially released him Friday afternoon after the two sides “mutually agreed to part ways.” For Pittsburgh, consider their interest a sign of smoke, not yet a sign of fire.
UPDATE (8:56 PM):
Werder’s report goes on to say Watt prefers to play for a contender. Whether or not he considers Pittsburgh a contender is unknown. Other teams reportedly showing interest the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo’s senior advisor Brian Gaines spent four years with Houston so there’s a possible connection there.
Per Werder, J.J. Watt's priority in determining his next team will be his belief that he can play in a Super Bowl with that team based on its supporting cast; he has never reached a conference championship game. #Steelers
— Steelers Depot 🎄 (@Steelersdepot) February 13, 2021