On Friday, the Houston Texans released three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt after he requested his release.
Watt made it clear last season that he’s getting older and isn’t interested in another rebuild.
The Texans have made it to the playoffs six times since Watt arrived in 2011, but they only have a 4-6 record in the time, never making it past the Divisional Round.
Now that Watt is out of Houston, where will he end up?
BetOnline has the odds of where Watt will most likely land.
What Team Will JJ Watt Sign With?
Odds via BetOnline as of Friday, February 12
- Pittsburgh Steelers +150
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +200
- Green Bay Packers +600
- Baltimore Ravens +600
- Dallas Cowboys +900
- Los Angeles Rams +1200
- New England Patriots +1200
- Cleveland Browns +1400
- Miami Dolphins +1400
- New York Giants +1600
- Tennessee Titans +1800
Pittsburgh Steelers +150
As soon as news broke that Watt was released, the Steelers instantly became favorites because of one reason: family.
Watt’s brothers TJ and Derek Watt both play for the Steelers and it would give the “Watt Brothers” their first opportunity to all play on the same team.
The Steelers defense would also look scarier if Pittsburgh brought in JJ, considering the team averaged the fifth-fewest points per game across the regular season and postseason combined.
TJ also led the NFL last season with 15.0 sacks, meaning teaming with JJ would be a quarterback’s nightmare.
However, the Steelers are an estimated $30 million over the cap, so some restructuring of contracts would be needed.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +200
If Watt wants an easy path to a Super Bowl, his best opportunity might be with the Buccaneers.
After all, not only did Tom Brady go to Tampa to bring a championship to the city, but the Buccaneers defense held the Kansas City Chiefs potent offense to just nine points in Super Bowl 55.
Imagine adding Watt to that core?
Tampa also has an estimated $30 million in cap space, but they still need to address their upcoming free agents, like Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Lavonte David.
Green Bay Packers/Baltimore Ravens +600
If he signs with the Packers, Watt has a chance to play in the state that he grew up and went to college in, while also playing for his childhood team.
Aaron Rodgers has reportedly been frustrated with some of the team’s moves when it comes to putting together a Super Bowl-quality team. The Packers need a quality edge rusher and a Watt signing would address those needs while adding in a quality locker room presence.
Ravens defensive line coordinator Anthony Weaver spent 2016 to 2020 coaching the Texans d-line, so there would be familiarity for Watt in Baltimore.
The Ravens also have four defensive ends heading to free agency this offseason, so they’d like to find a replacement if any number of them leave.
Who could even be a better “replacement” than Watt?
Dallas Cowboys +900
With Watt wanting to win a Super Bowl sooner than later, some may think that the Cowboys would be a strange choice. After all, they finished last season with a 6-10-0 record.
However, a big part of that was the fact that Dak Prescott was out for most of the year. When the Cowboys offense was healthy, it looked extremely dangerous and capable of putting up 30+ points on any team.
The Cowboys’ main issue over the last few seasons has been defense.
In 2020, Dallas allowed 29.6 points per game — fifth-worst in the NFL. Even with their offense’s potential, they can’t expect to win games if their defense is that bad.
Watt could help these issues, even if he’s not in his prime. Plus signing with the Cowboys would allow Watt to say in Texas, a state that he clearly loves.