Ever since the Houston Texans released former Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, NFL front offices and the internet as a whole have been campaigning for Watt to sign with their team. Reports have come out that dozens of teams have reached out to the defensive lineman to show their interest.
Recently, reports came out that Watt was most interested in signing with the Cleveland Browns. Of course, it was a Browns reporter that tweeted that, so take the news with a grain of salt. In other news, J.J. Watt is actually most interested in becoming a journalist with FlurrySports, per FlurrySports.
Jokes aside, the report was made, seemingly everyone has taken it at face value and the sportsbooks have adjusted their odds accordingly. Let’s take a look at the odds for where J.J. Watt will sign in NFL free agency.
J.J. Watt Free Agency Destination Odds
J.J. Watt free agency destination odds found at MyBookie Sportsbook.
Cleveland Browns (+175)
Following the recent reports of Watt being interested in the Browns, this has become the odds favorite destination, at +175. Watt signing with the Browns would create one of the better pass rushing duos in the league, alongside Myles Garrett. The Browns are interesting because they are one of the few teams that made the playoffs this past season and also have quite a bit of cap room, so Watt doesn’t need to sacrifice money for a solid team.
The question about Cleveland is if they have what it takes to compete for a Super Bowl. Their front seven wasn’t their biggest weakness this season. It was their secondary. Would Watt signing there help much, and is he aware of this? Of course, in my opinion, I don’t want to see another Wisconsin legend trapped in Cleveland.
Green Bay Packers (+200)
Green Bay Packers fans my be the most vocal about campaigning for Watt. The Packers lacked pass rush this past season, and Watt can provide this. They just cleared $8.3M in cap room, which has gotten fans more excited. And, of course, Watt grew up in Pewaukee, WI idolizing Reggie White. He is very aware of how White signed with the Packers and helped bring them back to the Super Bowl. Repeating history would almost seem poetic for the man that has been compared to his idol.
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Pittsburgh Steelers (+300)
The Pittsburgh Steelers are another J.J. Watt free agency destination where there is an obvious connection. Both of his brothers are on the Steelers, and getting the Watt brothers together would be a very cool thing.
However, this situation presents a number of problems. Again, can they compete for a Super Bowl? Given the current roster and cap situation, it doesn’t seem like it. It also doesn’t seem like signing Watt would improve the team much. The other issue is that Derek Watt, the often forgotten about brother, could be a cap casualty this offseason. It’d be a real kick to the sack if J.J. Watt signed there and Derek was cut in order to make room for him. After all, he’s the only one with a child to feed!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+350)
If Watt wants to ring chase, and who could blame him, then heading to Tampa seems obvious. The culture down there is relaxed, the climate is nice and the team is stacked. He would likely have to take a major pay cut. Still, we could see why Watt would like to sign there, after suffering with the Texans.
Tennessee Titans (+1000)
This is the last one I’ll talk about, and it’s because this seems to be a nearly perfect NFL free agency landing spot. The Titans defense was clearly what brought them down this season. Watt can help with that. Mike Vrabel was Watt’s defensive coordinator in Houston, so there’s a connection there. Watt gets to play his former team twice in the season. He also gets to live in Nashville, and Watt has plenty of ties to country music and that overall culture/industry. Maybe the longshot odds are the one worth betting. However, the perfect situation may not be the path Watt chooses.