Las Vegas Raiders Free Agency Preview: J.J. Watt

Possibly a future Hall of Fame member, J.J. Watt would be a huge big-name signing for the Las Vegas Raiders

It’s not too often that a player with three Defensive Player of the Year awards hits the open market.

That’s the case this year with defensive end J.J. Watt being released by the Houston Texans.

Once considered to be among the best players in the league, Watt arguably has a Hall of Fame resume already.

In addition to the three DOPY's, he’s a five-time Pro Bowler and a five-time First-Team All-Pro.

Watt has five seasons with at least 10.5 sacks, with his last double-digit sack season coming in 2018 with 16. For his career, he has 101 sacks and also 172 tackles for losses.

He has seen some decline in recent seasons. Injuries have a lot to do with that, as he’s only played in all 16 games twice in the last five seasons.

One of those was in 2018 when Watt had 16 sacks and was last named an All-Pro.

The other was last season, when he was one of only two defensive linemen to play more than 1,000 snaps.

Watt did have only five sacks, the lowest total that he has had over a full season.

Even with that slight decline, sites like Pro Football Focus (PFF) still have rated Watt very highly.

Last year he was rated as the seventh-best edge defender in the league and has been in the top 10 for the last three years.

It shows the impact that he’s still capable of making even if he’s not at his Hall of Fame peak, like he was in 2012-15.

For the Las Vegas Raiders, they were one of the worst teams when it came to generating pressure on the quarterback last season.

Adding Watt would provide an immediate upgrade and his presence would likely make life a lot easier for ends like Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell. 

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