J.J. Watt Sweepstakes – Latest Odds, Feb. 17
The J.J. Watt sweepstakes are starting to heat up. All 31 teams, excluding Houston, would love to add the five-time Pro Bowler to their D-line. Although every GM would line up to give Watt their best pitch, realistically there are only a handful of teams that fit the one qualification that Watt requires of his next team – which is being a Super Bowl contender. The Texans all-time leader in sacks, tackles for loss, quarterback hits, and forced fumbles has already had a storybook career, now we shall let the bidding war commence. Let’s look at the top five contenders that have the best odds to win the Watt sweepstakes.
Cleveland Browns -200:
Watch out Steeler fans! You soon could have more to worry about then just Myles Garret trying to play whack a mole with his helmet. Reports came out that Watt could be giving Cleveland some serious thought and thus shoot them to the top of this list and for good reason. First, the culture in Cleveland would be a breath of fresh air for Watt, who was not shy of making it known he was tired of losing in Houston. The Browns made it to the playoffs last season for the first time in 18 years and look to have all the pieces to be in the mix again next year. Teaming Watt with Garret would give opposing offensive lines fits and would undoubtedly help a Cleveland defense that ranked 22 in points allowed last season. The main reason Cleveland reigns on top of this list is out of the top five they have the most room to pay this man his money. The Browns currently sit $21.8 million under the salary cap. This flexibility gives Cleveland the ability to sign Watt and add other pieces to make a serious Super Bowl run.
Pittsburgh Steelers +350:
Let’s face it, Thanksgiving would be awkward in the Watt house if J.J. passed on the opportunity to play with his two brothers T.J. and Derek. The chance to play with his brothers is what has the Steelers this high on this list and Watt would be looking at joining an already solid defense that is filled with young talent. While the thought of a chance to hoist the Lombardi with his brothers is enticing, the Steelers current cap situation is not. Pittsburgh currently sits $30.5 over the cap and with key pending free agents Watt would have to show some serious brotherly love and most likely sign for a discount.
Green Bay Packers +400:
If there was a sleeper team in this whole thing, the Packers is it. Watt spent most of his college career at Wisconsin and literally had Green Bay Packers memorabilia on his college walls. Watt has to like the idea of playing with that baaaaddd man Aaron Rodgers, the MVP led the packers to the NFC championship and had the highest scoring offense in the NFL. Watt knows that he could very well be the piece that this team is missing to win it all. The only issue is that Green Bay is $20 million over the cap and are going to be hard pressed to get Watt the money he is going to be looking for, but don’t count Green Bay out.
Buffalo Bills +650:
Rumor has it Stefon Diggs is still standing on the field. I mean why not buffalo? I can’t think of another team that is closer to breaking through then the Bills. With the Patriots trying to figure out Tom Brady’s successor, the Dolphins still being a few years away, and the Jets being the Jets, this could be Watts’s easiest road to a strong playoff push out of any of the teams on this list. Watt would be joining an already stout defense that ranked 14th in points allowed and could be vaulted into the top 10 with his addition. Although they don’t have any connections to Watt they do have the potential to be able to create enough cap space to pull this off. Currently sitting at $200,000 over the cap, room could be made if Watt wanted to bring his talents to Buffalo.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +650: Tom Brady. End of explanation. Seriously, Watt has not hidden the fact that he is a huge fan of Brady. There is no better destination for ring chasers to go other than Tampa at the moment, as they are poised to make another deep run again next year. Watt could seamlessly fill the shoes of some pending free agents. The Bucs also have a good amount of cap space to deal with, sitting right around $15 million under the cap. Though their Super Bowl window might only be one more year, the Bucs give Watt the best chance to capture his first Lombardi.