JJ Joins DeAndre
By John Brecko
Photo Credit: Arizona Cardinals
J.J. Watt becomes the next name on a list of Pro-Bowl caliber players to leave Houston, with DeAndre Hopkins going before him and Deshaun Watson ready to leave after him.
Everyone both inside and outside of the Houston Texans organization knew that J.J. Watt was going to leave and join a new NFL team. However, no on seemed to predict what team that would be.
No one seemed to predict that J.J. Watt would sign a two year, $31 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals with $23 million guaranteed.
J.J. Watt said that he signed with the Cardinals because he believes in the team’s quarterback, Kyler Murray, which makes sense. Murray was close to leading the Cardinals into the playoffs last season, even if they had a .500 record. The Cardinals would have made it to the playoffs if Murray did not suffer a shoulder injury during the season.
Kyler Murray was able to play with that injury, but was less mobile with the injury than he would have been otherwise, which was a factor in a few of the team’s losses this past season.
However, fans and media personnel alike are skeptical at this answer because if you believe in Kyler Murray, why wouldn’t you believe in Deshaun Watson?
It would make more sense if J.J. Watt talked about believing in the organization in Arizona as a whole because it has been made clear that J.J. Watt does not believe in the Texans as an organization. J.J. Watt’s lack of belief in the Texans is so profound that he apologized to Deshaun Watson for “wasting one of his years”.
Deshaun Watson threw for 33 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions on a team that went 4-12 in the 2020 NFL season. No quarterback has ever had a great season on a team that was that bad.
J.J. Watt was on the defense that kept Deshaun Watson’s team (possibly soon to be former team) from winning quite a few of those football games. However, J.J. Watt himself is still a threat on the defensive side of the ball. It is much harder for one man to be a threat on the football field than it is in some other sports.
On top of this, there are other teams that J.J. Watt could have signed with that would have made sense. He could have signed with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. He could have signed with Bill Belichick in New England (Belichick is not a quarterback; I’m aware). He could have signed with other teams if there was a specific person to believe in.
Many have speculated on his reasons for choosing Arizona. Reasons such as no state income tax and joining his former teammate DeAndre Hopkins have both been reasons that have been brought up.
Regardless, the Arizona Cardinals have an overall better defense than the Houston Texans and J.J. Watt will be an asset to that team, even if he is past his prime.
There may be another potential candidate willing to take Deshaun Watson now, even if the Arizona Cardinals claim to “believe in their quarterback”.