Details On J.J. Watt’s Cardinals Deal

Earlier this week, J.J. Watt joined up with the Cardinals on a two-year deal. Now, we have most of the major details, courtesy of’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo (Twitter links). Here’s the breakdown of Watt’s shiny new contract: 

  • Two years, $31MM maximum value
  • $28MM in base salary + $3MM in incentives based on sack totals
    • 10 sacks in 2021 = $1MM in 2021 + $1MM escalator for 2022
    • 10 sacks in 2022 = $1MM incentive
  • $12MM signing bonus
  • $14.5MM Year 1 base value
  • No-trade clause

After the Texans granted Watt’s request to be released, the veteran said that he wanted to join a contender. In Watt’s estimation, young head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray are ready to win straight away. It also helps that the Cardinals appear to have submitted the highest offer for his services.

The Browns and Colts — who both made the playoffs in 2020 — didn’t match the Cardinals on compensation. The Titans, Packers, and Steelers were also connected to the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Watt is now one of just nine players whose contract includes a no-trade clause.

Now, with Watt in the fold, the Cardinals may allow Haason Reddick to walk while putting their available dollars elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 comments on “Details On J.J. Watt’s Cardinals Deal

  1. Tatsumaki

    3/4th placed team in division behind Seahawks and Rams. Watt took the money and ran because cardinals are not a contender by any estimation

    • myaccount

      Cardinals could easily pass up Seattle this season. Even if they don’t, no reason they couldn’t be the second wild card.

    • afsooner02

      I wouldn’t say super bowl contender but they’re def a playoff contending team. They missed the playoffs by 1 game last year. They’re fixing the pass rush issue. They get the OL better and they could easily be the best team in the west. We don’t know how Stafford will do with the rams and Seattle has their issues right now just keeping Wilson from demanding a trade. The 49ers are a giant question mark as well.

    • bradthebluefish

      Cardinals could make a run. Low chance but they were 1 game away from entering the playoffs.

  2. JOHNSmith2778

    What’s a year 1 base value? If he gets $12m bonus and 14.5m base in 2021 then his salary is 1.5m in 2022?

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