Superstar defensive lineman J.J. Watt signed a two-year, $31 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Watt, a former five-time All-Pro, spent the first 10 years of his NFL career with the Houston Texans.
Cardinals are giving J.J. Watt a two-year, $31 million deal that includes $23 million guaranteed, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 1, 2021
J.J. Watt, Arizona Cardinals, Agree to Contract
It’s hard to think of a team with a worse offseason than the Houston Texans. With the Super Bowl just a week old, the team has already faced Deshaun Watson trade requests, a struggle to actually find a head coach, and has now released the greatest player in the history of their franchise. Watt reportedly asked for the release, as setting him free now allowed him to choose his next landing spot.
Watt might not be the player he once was, but he’s still a fantastic pass rusher. Starting and appearing in all 16 games, the former first-round pick finished his season with five sacks, 17 quarterback hits, 14 tackles-for-loss, and two forced fumbles. While Houston’s defense was one of the worst in the league, Watt remained one of the better players at his position.
J.J. Watt originally entered the league as a first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Selected by the Houston Texans, the Wisconsin product immediately made an impact with the franchise. Starting in all 16 games as a rookie, Watt recorded 5.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, 13 tackles-for-loss, and two fumble recoveries. Additionally, he added a pick-six during Houston’s Wild Card win over the Cincinnati Bengals. This was a promising debut, but nobody was ready for what came next.
From 2012 to 2015, J.J. Watt was unquestionably the best defensive force in the NFL. Winning First-Team All-Pro honors in all four seasons, the Wisconsin product started all 64 games while recording a staggering 69 sacks, 190 quarterback hits, 119 tackles-for-loss, 15 forced fumbles, and 41 passes defended. All of these marks were easily the best in the league by a defensive lineman, as he truly established himself as the best defensive player in football. While injuries limited him to just eight games in 2016 and 2017, Watt put up another First-Team All-Pro finish in 2018.
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