Watt chose who??

After a long free agency period, many are questioning JJ Watt’s signing with the Arizona Cardinals.

This image looks cursed, Watt in a jersey other than the Texans just doesn't seem right.

This image looks cursed, Watt in a jersey other than the Texans just doesn’t seem right.

Alex Kajda, Staff Writer

After the abominable season that the Houston Texans had and the rampant issues running through the organization, including a terrible front office staff, it made sense that JJ Watt wanted out. His ten seasons in Houston were memorable. He won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award three times and was a hero in Houston. For example, he helped raise $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief back in 2017 and had many other charitable donations throughout the Houston community as well. But after not seeing much team success and the Texans being in the midst in a rebuild, it was time for Watt to move on to a new beginning.

Obviously for someone who’s been in the league as long as Watt and nearing the end of their prime, that coveted Super Bowl has to be a huge factor when choosing their team. This is why many reporters and football fans believed his landing place would be somewhere very competitive. Many pointed to the Packers, Steelers, Browns, and Bills as potential landing spots. All of these teams were solid last year; they all made the playoffs and are teams on the rise. The Packers and Bills made their respective conference’s championship games and a player like Watt would surely put them over the edge come next season. The Steelers seemed like a coveted spot considering that Watt’s younger brother, TJ Watt, plays there. It would be a dream come true for Watt to play with his younger brother, but if Watt was considering the alternative approach, to play against his brother, then the Browns would be a perfect fit considering that they’re in the AFC North with the Steelers. They also have stud defensive end Myles Garrett as well, who Watt could form a combo with to give offensive lines across the league nightmares.

Many rumors and even hints were dropped by Watt on Twitter, leading people to think of any clues to figure out his landing spot. On Monday, however, Watt finally made his choice. He was ready for his future with the… Arizona Cardinals???

From a business perspective, yes, Watt is being paid $15.5 million a year with this deal, but I don’t really think that should be a big deal this late in his career, especially when he’s already had his payday with the Texans. Of all options, Watt chose a team that finished 8-8 last year and is in the toughest division in the entire NFL. The Cardinals are in a division with the Seahawks, who won the NFC West last year, the Rams, who also made the playoffs and beat the Cardinals twice last year with neither game being particularly close, and the 49ers, who are poised to come back after making the Super Bowl just two seasons ago and being riddled with injuries last year. Even worse, Watt’s iconic number, #99, was retired by the Cardinals organization. This was in honor of former Cardinals player Marshall Goldberg, whose daughter had to end up giving Watt permission to wear the number, which just made this whole situation even more complicated.

Looking at the positives, Watt apparently told QB Kyler Murray he’s “here because I believe in you” and is also reuniting with his former Houston teammate DeAndre Hopkins. Cardinals DE Chandler Jones offered to be Watt’s personal chef if he came to Arizona. I’m not sure if those words are what swayed Watt to come to Arizona but I really hope they weren’t. I’m not even sure how good of a chef Chandler Jones is, but I guess he was convincing enough. All in all, the Cardinals are a team with lots of potential. They started last season 6-3 before nosediving near the end, but they can have a solid season if they put it all together. My only concern is the division that they’re in, which will be a dogfight and I just can’t see them winning it. If they want a playoff spot, they’ll probably have to be a wild card team.

Overall, Watt caught the whole NFL world by surprise. I really hope this article doesn’t age terribly if the Cardinals somehow do end up being an incredible success story for Watt. I just really believe that Watt could’ve found a much better team to be a part of if he wanted to win. However, my words could end up meaning nothing. We just have to see how the 2021 season goes.