When the Houston Texans released DE JJ Watt on February 12, the Pittsburgh Steelers instantly became the favorites to add him.
After all, his two brothers play for the Steelers and would serve as a Watt family reunion.
However, BetOnline has updated their odds and it looks like the Cleveland Browns now have the best odds of signing Watt at -125.
The Buffalo Bills, who weren’t anywhere close to landing Watt in the opening odds either, have also been bumped up to fourth-highest odds (+700).
What led to this change and others that saw several teams’ odds increase? There are several factors and some of them have been broken down below.
Updated Odds for which Team JJ Watt Signs with
Odds via BetOnline as of Tuesday, February 16
- Cleveland Browns -125
- Green Bay Packers +500
- Pittsburgh Steelers +550
- Buffalo Bill s+700
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +750
- Baltimore Ravens +1000
- Dallas Cowboys +1400
- Indianapolis Colts +1400
- Los Angeles Rams +1600
- New England Patriots +1600
- San Francisco 49ers +1600
Browns now Favorites to Sign JJ Watt
One of the main reasons for the jump is that the Browns have an estimated $21 million in cap space, which is significantly more than the Steelers, who experts are saying are around $30 million over the salary cap.
It’s been reported that Watt not only wants to have a big payday, but he also wants to play for a Super Bowl contender since the Texans never got him close to one.
Meanwhile, the Browns lost a close 22-17 game to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round this season, so Watt may be the missing piece that puts them to the next level.
Packers Move up Oddsboard
The Packers’ odds have moved from +600 to +500. While that’s not a huge difference, the Packers are a continuous Super Bowl contender out of the NFC, especially with Aaron Rodgers as a quarterback.
Watt also grew up in Wisconsin and cheered for the Packers growing up, as mentioned before on USGS, meaning Green Bay gives him a good chance at winning a Super Bowl for his home state.
Steelers Cap Situation Reduces Odds of Signing Watt
As long as the Steelers’ cap space remains ugly, it’s unlikely that their odds of signing Watt will increase. The football world is also unsure of what an aging Ben Roethlisberger will look like next season.
While ‘Big Ben’ looked decent during parts of the 2020 season, he also began showing his age. Despite how good the Steelers’ defense is, even if they added Watt, are they good enough for a Super Bowl with Roethlisberger at the helm?
Bills Joining the Race to Sign JJ
The Bills are another team whose odds have increased out of nowhere in the pursuit to sign Watt.
While Buffalo never announced they had intentions of doing so, Bills WR Stefon Diggs jokingly tweeted to Watt that he’d like to talk to him.
In reality, the Bills don’t have a lot of cap space and need to re-sign their free agents this offseason. While they made it to the 2020 AFC Championship Game and can offer Watt a decent Super Bowl opportunity, the Bills would need to sign him for much less than he’s looking for.
Buccs Falling out of the Race for JJ
The odds of Watt ending up with the Super Bowl 55 Champions isn’t looking as great as it was last week.
The Buccaneers’ odds have gone from +200 to +750. Yes, they do have an estimated $30 million in cap space, which is more than enough to bring Watt in, but they need to sign their free agents.
Antonio Brown, Lavonte David, Leonard Fournette, and Chris Godwin are just some of the free agents that Tampa needs to take care of before they turn their attention to even thinking about Watt.