The Green Bay Packers signing All-Pro defensive lineman J.J. Watt is the "most likely'' scenario for the just-released former Houston Texans All-Pro, a source close to the situation tells TexansDaily.com.
A league source has informed Packer Central that Green Bay - coming off back-to-back losses in NFC Championship Games and therefore in "one-player-away'' mode - is among the teams planning a pursuit of the NFL's three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Watt is about to turn 32, and injuries have slowed him at times. But he was Houston's best defensive player last year - in addition to being the best player in franchise history - and his Wisconsin ties (he's a native of the state and starred at the University of Wisconsin before being drafted to the Texans the first round in 2020) make the connection a natural one.
There are, however, cap issues in Green Bay that would make this transaction tricky.
The Packers just completed the restructuring All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari’s contract extension. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers created $8.3 million of cap space by converting roster bonus into signing bonus. That can help Green Bay's situation, though the Packers remain almost $20 million over a projected cap of $180.5 million.
Watt was a "courtesy cut'' in Houston, which has its own cap problems and is rebuilding. He requested a release, and now can shop his services anywhere, with the Pittsburgh Steelers (who employ his brothers T.J. Watt and Derek Watt) likely also on the wish list.
Watt is a member of the all-2010s team and he led the NFL with 20.5 sacks in 2012, 17.5 sacks in 2015 and added 16 sacks in 2018. Despite constant double-teams in 2020, he managed a Texans-high five sacks.
In Green Bay, where QB Aaron Rodgers just made noise about unhappiness with a front office that has too often failed to provide him personnel help, Watt would be a boost to the quarterback, a gigantic story in Green Bay and beyond ... and just maybe the Packers' over-the-top piece.
CONTINUE READING: J.J. Watt And His 'Forever Legacy' With The Houston Texans
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