Texans Received Calls On J.J. Watt

The Texans granted J.J. Watt‘s request to be released, but interest in taking the future Hall of Famer’s through-2021 contract did emerge in recent days. New Texans GM Nick Caserio took calls on Watt over the past two weeks, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com (on Twitter).

It does not sound like the Texans could have collected a prime asset for the soon-to-be 32-year-old defensive end, who was attached to a $17.5MM 2021 salary. But other teams were willing to acquire him via trade, Robinson notes. Watt is coming off a 16-game season and will certainly generate widespread interest on the open market.

Regarding the three-time Defensive Player of the Year’s future, Watt will prioritize landing with a contending team, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. No signing is expected before next week. Betonline.ag slots the Steelers, Buccaneers and Packers as the early frontrunners for Watt, while Fowler lists the Patriots, Titans and Rams as other potential destinations. The Bills profile as the best Watt fit, per NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah (on Twitter).

Watt signed a six-year, $100MM extension with the Texans in 2014. While he would have been on track for another record-setting pact had major injuries not intervened in 2016 and ’17, Watt has now played 16-game seasons in two of the past three years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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34 comments on “Texans Received Calls On J.J. Watt

  1. dan55

    I hope TT gives him a call. The Chargers really need another pass rusher now that Ingram is a free agent.

    • mhdunbar99

      Is this comment from a Spanos intern? Why would anyone…much less JJ Watt… go to the most irrelevant sports franchise in all of professional sports?

      • dan55

        @mhdunbar – JJ did play in Houston, so I don’t think he’s worried about irrelevant franchises. Plus, the Chargers are going to be loaded next year with Herby and a new coach. I think he would love to play for us.

      • How are the Chargers the most irrelevant team in sports? Lions, Jets, Jaguars, etc are way more irrelevant and that’s just in football.

    • Chris

      I was thinking that too. Would be nice to have JJ and Bosa on the same o-line

  2. Simmons>Russ

    This story comes out basically saying what we all knew, teams were interested and would’ve given up picks to get him but they him go for nothing.

    Texans are the dumbest team of the last 3 seasons. They went from title contenders to complete tear down rebuild.

      • DarkSide830

        so that means they were going to cut him over eating a little money? still dumb.

      • Simmons>Russ

        It literally says teams weren’t willing to give up a prime asset (a first round pick) but other teams were willing to deal for him.
        Aka the Texans probably could’ve got back a second and a fourth or something. Might not sound like much for JJ but they literally let him walk for nothing so they made a bad decision yet again

        • markdavisbarber

          How about if JJ didn’t care to play for any of the teams that called and the Texans did him a solid by releasing him? It’s very possible that the teams he wants to play for are not willing to eat the $17 mil or give up perceived trade value for a player that has only played 32 of 64 games the last two years.

          By releasing JJ the Texans are giving him a chance to continue his career on his terms and quite possibly getting a better deal with a compensatory pick.

          • Packerz No Matter What

            They don’t get a comp pick for cutting a player. Only for losing free agents.

          • @markdavisbarber: By cutting him, they received and will receive ZERO compensation. You don’t collect compensation on a player you’ve cut. They flushed a pick down the drain (a 4th? maybe even a 3rd?) to do him a solid? Why?

            They’ve gone out of their way to alienate Deshaun Watson and done so publicly, yet they’ll turn their nose up at a draft pick to do Watt a solid? It makes no sense.

            Texans have stolen the mantle from my Knicks as the worst run franchise in sports. Even the Jets are better run.

            • markdavisbarber

              Sorry…. the last 10 words were incorrect due to NFL law….

              No matter what the Texans are dumb and going to make stupid mistakes. They will not do anything correct for any players or make any moves that you all approve of until they win a Super Bowl.

            • Ak185

              The Texans are bad, but come on. We still have the Knicks, the Rangers (MLB), the Mets, the Padres (until very recently-what a great farm for nothing all those years!) the Raiders before the Del Rio uptick (seriously, they were bad), the Lions, the Browns (until recently)…

              It’s bad, but hardly the worst just yet. They’ll need a few years to get there.

              As for Watt, they should have gotten something. A fourth, a fifth (considering age, salary, and the common knowledge that he was going to be cut-guys this high profile aren’t released without other teams guessing at the possibility). My guess is that the other interested teams wanted more than Watt himself. Meaning, they wanted Houston to compensate them for the salary, knowing that Houston would say no and that Watt wasn’t going to demand much money-wise. The contenders figured that he’d be released, and sign with them. Watt would have to approve, right? So why bother paying too much for right if first refusal? Otherwise, it doesn’t make much sense.

              Strange, but I’m trying to guess at how this makes sense from Houston’s perspective. To me, it seems worth it to get SOMETHING, even if it’s not much. I guess those offering weren’t attractive for Watt, and he declined. Still doesn’t make sense for Houston, but it’s good for Watt.

              • Simmons>Russ

                Yes all those teams have a history of being bad and stuff but I mean none of them have been as bad off the field in a 4 year period as the Texans.

                They literally went from being a title contender to being the worst team in the NFL. 2018 they had 6 pro bowlers and had a record of 11-5, in Watsons first full year as a starter. Then they traded away their all pro OLB Clowney for next to nothing, they let their former all pro RB Lamar Miller walk for nothing, they traded away their all pro WR DeAndre Hopkins (arguably the best WR in the league) for next to nothing, they hugely overspent on Tunsil giving up two first round picks and a second round pick. Now they have let a future HOF edge rusher and defensive leader leave for literally nothing, and upset their QB so much that he has demanded a trade.

                They literally have nothing good other than Watson and Tunsil on the roster. It’s just big contracts, good/decent vets, and role players.

                • Ak185

                  That’s fair enough, I suppose. I don’t think Cal McNair is as responsible as some others do because he mostly inherited the situation after O’Brien used his position to make the vast majority of these decisions (I do hold the input fiasco as his fault entirely, though).

                  I don’t think that Cal has done a good job by any means, but I’d rate him a 4 instead of a 1 for whatever that counts. Not good, and he contributed to the current situation, but the root of it is O’Brien’s leveraging his status as the sole “football guy” in that organization to shape it in his vision. Bob was pretty old and in poor health, and I doubt that he had the constitution to counteract O’Brien even if he had the will (and I don’t know if he had the will). It’s easy to see how O’Brien could take over that franchise in the absence of a clear authority figure.

                  At the end of the day, this is all just speculation anyway. Cal might really be that bad. Easterby might really be the boogeyman people say he is. Caserio might not be the clean up act he’s supposed to be, and end up content with the power of running the team. Things could get worse, and if they do, I could see the Texans turning into the pit of misery that you describe that we saw in Detroit and Cleveland before. I hope that doesn’t happen, but we’ll see.

    • astrosfansince1974

      Did you even consider that they wanted to reward Watt by letting him go to the team of his choice for the most money? I agree they are making some silly decisions but this was not one of them.

      • Ak185

        I agree that they would deserve some form of moral credit for that decision, and if it’s the case, it’s good. I am just not convinced completely that it was, because they’re not in a good enough position for a new GM to feel comfortable in doing so (especially one coming from an organization so veteran-for-picks friendly as New England). Maybe Cal or Easterby thought Watt had earned a release? I don’t know their opinions of him would prompt that decision, or if Caserio would even disagree.

        I actually hope that’s the case, because otherwise it would mean a massive strategic blunder occurred somewhere. And Watt does deserve to choose where he goes.

  3. wu tang killa beez

    Why pay draft picks and pay him 17M$ when you can wait for Houston to cut him loose and sign him for maybe 10-12 M$ ?

    • Because you might not get him that way. He would have to choose to play there as a FA.

    • wagner13

      Because it likely would have involved Houston eating some of the contract

    • brave new world

      Green Bay is gonna cut Preston smith it seems why not send smith plus a pick to the Texans for Watt. Then do a restructured deal with Watt,

      • Ak185

        Doubtful that Houston wanted P. Smith. If they were contenders and just needed an extra boost, possibly. Otherwise, no, because Smith isn’t going to be there for years and be a foundational player. Teams rarely trade for players that they figure will be cut, which may have been what happened here.

    • Rocket32

      wu tang killa beez To avoid facing competition for him on the FA market. There’s no guarantee you get him as a FA when he’s free to choose his own destination and other teams are free to make offers as well

      • mlbnyyfan

        How much does Watt really have left. He seems to get injured the last several years.

      • jessethegreat

        Watt is seemingly only interested in playing for a contender. None of the realistic contenders other than maybe the Colts have the cap space to take on the salary he was signed to. And they still have a giant question mark at quarterback.

        Instead of everyone hating on the Texans here, I actually give them credit. They didn’t fight him and gave him ample time to sign with a contender before whatever money that would be out there in free agency dries up. I know their chips are down right now, but this is a good message to players that will consider signing / re-signing with Houston down the road.

    • astrosfansince1974

      I’d love to see the Brothers Watt together even on the Steelers.

  4. Chris Hager

    Miami would be an interesting landing spot, if they could get him for $10-12 million

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