- Odds have been set on if star defensive end JJ Watt will be with the Houston Texans when the 2021 season begins
- The Texans are just 4-11 this season and Watt will be entering the final year of his contract in 2021
- Watt has been vocal about his disappointment with the Texans’ performance this season
JJ Watt has been a franchise cornerstone for the Texans since they selected him in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft but his days in Houston may be numbered.
Oddsmakers believe Watt will be wearing a different uniform when the 2021 season begin.
The Texans are 4-11 and will likely begin a rebuild under whomever is hired to replace Bill O’Brien, who was fired from his dual role of general manager and coach following an 0-4 start this season.
Odds JJ Watt Plays for the Houston Texans in 2021
Odds taken Dec. 30.
Enough is Enough
Watt appeared to reach his breaking point last Sunday following the Texans’ loss at home to the woeful Cincinnati Bengals 37-31 as 7.5-point favorites.
In his postgame teleconference with reporters, Watt became very emotional as he questioned the commitment of some of his teammates. The Texans have lost their last four games.
After the Texans’ latest loss today, J.J. Watt was asked how he and his team would be able to bounce back next week. His answer is required watching for many. pic.twitter.com/3uRRnvBC53
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 27, 2020
The Texans seems to hit rock bottom, at least defensively, against the Bengals. Cincinnati had not won a road game in over two years.
Journeyman quarterback Brandon Allen completed 29 of 37 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals (4-10-1) shredded the Texans for 540 total yards while notching their largest point total of the season.
The Texans are 26th in the NFL in scoring defense (28.2 points a game), 30th in total defense (411.7 yards a game), 31st in rushing defense (151.7 ypg) and 26th in passing defense (260.0 ypg).
After playing in more than half of the Texans’ game only once in the previous four seasons because of injuries, Watt has been in the starting lineup for all 15 games this year.
The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has 49 tackles, including 12 for loss, along with five sacks, 14 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and an interception he returned for a touchdown in a Thanksgiving win over the Detroit Lions.
J.J. Watt touchdown on repeat. pic.twitter.com/QOxbJYPFuB
— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) November 26, 2020
No Longer a Fit
While Watt is having a productive season, he is 31 years old and in his 10th season. He is not a good fit on the roster of a rebuilding team, and it is obvious he does not have the patience for a major overhaul.
Watt will be in the final year of his six-year, $100-million contract in 2021. He is scheduled to make $17.5 million, which would be a significant cap hit for many teams. However, none of the salary is guaranteed.
Watt might also be amenable to restructuring his contract in the right situation. He has never played in the Super Bowl and would certainly relish the opportunity to play for a contender.
What team couldn’t use a player who can do this?
J.J. Watt with his 98th career sack?
— PFF (@PFF) September 20, 2020
If Watt is flexible, finding a trade partner should not be difficult.
The next GM will also likely want to restock the heavy 2021 Draft capital lost in two of O’Brien’s trade. The Texans’ picks in the first and second rounds were sent to the Miami Dolphins in the Laremy Tunsil deal and their fourth-rounder went to the Arizona Cardinals as part of the David Johnson trade.
Potential Trade Partners
The most obvious trade destination would be Pittsburgh. Watt’s brothers TJ and Derek play the Steelers, who are perennial contenders, and Watt might make significant concessions to stage a family reunion.
Per PFF: NFL leaders in tackles for loss or no gain vs. the run this season: #Steelers
1. T.J. Watt – 15
2. J.J. Watt – 14pic.twitter.com/eLyoxG7crR
— Steelers Depot ? (@Steelersdepot) December 30, 2020
The Cleveland Browns has shown a penchant for making splash moves in recent years in their never-ending quest to reach the Super Bowl. Dealing for Watt and pairing him with Myles Garrett would give the Browns a devastating defensive end combination.
Of course, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in win-now mode with Tom Brady on a two-year contract that expires after next season. Adding Watt to the pass rush duo of Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul would give opposing offenses nightmares.
It’s fun to speculate where Watt might be playing in 2021 but one place he certain won’t be is Houston.