AFC Notes: Watt, Maxwell, Raiders, Jaguars

J.J. Watt worried whether or not he’d be healthy enough to return to football in the days following his groin surgery this winter, per Deepi Sidhu of The Texans‘ defensive end dynamo, however, said the rehab from his July back surgery didn’t faze him nearly as much.

After the first surgery, there were some days there where I really, really questioned whether or not I would ever be able to play again,” Watt said. “Just some of the stuff we were dealing with from a rehab standpoint, just the way recovery was going early on…way back in January and February, there was a very low point there.

[After the groin surgery] I was in a hotel room in Philadelphia for 10 days straight not being able to really walk or anything. With this this back surgery, after going through the first one…it was almost like, ‘screw it, let’s get it over with, let’s get through it.’ This one has almost been a fun challenge to overcome.”

Houston activated Watt from the Active/PUP list last week and is expected to deploy him for the Week 1 Bears matchup. Counting five playoff games, Watt has started 85 consecutive contests going into his sixth season.

Here’s more from around the league on the eve of Week 1.

  • Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell was blunt when asked about why he left the Seahawks in free agency in 2015 to join up with the Eagles, as James Walker of writes. “Cash flow, all day,” Maxwell said. “They were close. But I can’t make that back in my lifetime. So I had to go.” Philadelphia gave Maxwell a six-year, $63MM contract with a whopping $25MM guaranteed. However, after he struggled in his first season with Philly, he was shipped to the Dolphins and had his contract restructured. After being in the shadow of Richard Sherman with Seattle, Maxwell is now the No. 1 CB for the Dolphins.
  • If the Southern Nevada Tourism and Infrastructure Committee doesn’t vote to green-light sufficient funds for a Raiders stadium, the sides will move on, Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole tweets. This is viewed by Las Vegas and the Raiders as a one-shot deal, per Cole. The SNTIC has until Sept. 30 to come up with a financing plan, but the issue over how much public money will be contributed remains the sticking point. Developers are seeking $750MM in public contributions for the $1.9 billion stadium. With Oakland having made next to no progress on plans for a Raiders long-term site, the team could pivot back to Los Angeles, which may again have both the Chargers and Raiders interested after both had previously moved to other projects.
  • Dave Caldwell viewed his first three Jaguars teams as flawed to the point the team needed “perfect” efforts to be in a game late, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union writes. “Now we can overcome a bad play, a fumble, a backed-up situation, a deficit,” the fourth-year Jags GM said. “Offensively, we can score quickly and defensively, I think we can hold that fort down.” Jacksonville’s accumulated a 12-36 record during the first three seasons of the Caldwell/Gus Bradley regime.
  • After matching C.J. Anderson‘s offer sheet, extending Brandon Marshall through 2020 and avoiding a franchise tag season for Von Miller, the Broncos reached an agreement to extend Emmanuel Sanders through 2019.

Zach Links contributed to this report

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