Should the Chargers Consider Making a Run at JJ Watt?

The Chargers will have to weigh the pros and cons of potentially signing JJ Watt.

The Houston Texans have been in the news all offseason. Last Friday, they decided to part ways with probably their best franchise player in defensive end J.J. Watt. ESPN reporter Ed Werder reported that at least a dozen teams have shown interest headlined by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and Tennessee Titans.

Could the Chargers be one of those teams? That is unknown.

The Chargers have a new coaching staff, and they could be looking to change things up on a 7-9 team that needs help to try and make the playoffs.

One of the biggest offseason questions is whether the team will try to re-sign defensive end, Melvin Ingram. He was slowed down by injures in 2020 and didn’t record a single sack. He may be expensive, so the team may move on.

Pros: The Chargers will be transitioning to a 3-4 defense, which Watt is very familiar with because he was in it for most of his Texans’ career. In the last two seasons, Watt’s stats have regressed, but that could be a lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball. If he signed with the Chargers, he would be opposite of Joey Bosa, so they could wreak havoc all over opposing offenses.

Watt and Bosa could be a dangerous duo in the NFL. Watt is also a football magnet who has scored numerous touchdowns in his career. He could be a game-changer and, despite the numerous injuries in his career, could revitalize with Bosa opposite of him. Watt also could be a vocal leader for this defense.

Also, Watt is always a fan favorite and could sell a lot of Watt #99 jerseys.

Cons: The injury history could make the Chargers not go for him. GM Tom Telesco has a history of going after players who have an injury history, hoping that they will be better when he becomes a Chargers. They usually don’t. Telesco could try heading in a different direction.

Watt has only nine sacks in the last two seasons of 24 games played. If they do sign him, what is to say that he will regain his All-Pro level, especially at 31 years old?

Final verdict: Go for it. Watt is 31 with an injury history, but what he could bring to the locker room could help them become a playoff team. Watt is used to getting double-teamed by the offensive line, but with an opposing pass rusher like Bosa, the line will have to decide whom to double and whom to single block. Having Watt could also help Bosa get free more often. He could also be a situational pass rusher more than an every down player, which could save him for crucial moments. 

From a marketing point of view, Watt could help sell jerseys and put butts in seats. Also, Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Bosa, Derwin James, and Watt could give them four to six primetime games next season.

Yes, there is the injury history, but with a superstar like Watt, it is a risk worth taking.