Report emerges of multiple offers to J.J. Watt

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Thirteen days into his 33-day head start on free agency, defensive lineman J.J. Watt continues to look for a new team. Multiple teams reportedly are interested, but no deal has been done, yet.

According to Diana Russini of ESPN.com, Watt “has received contract offers from multiple teams,” and “the most lucrative offer Watt currently has on the table is believed to be worth between $15 million and $16 million.”

Multiple league sources have identified multiple questions in response to this news. One high-level team executive opined that there’s “no way” that someone would put that much money on the table for Watt, given his age, his injury history, and the expected shrinkage of the salary cap.

Another source pointed out that the structure of the offer becomes critical to understanding its true value. How much is fully guaranteed at signing? Does the offer have a non-guaranteed back end that makes the average look higher than it really is?

If Watt gets a three-year contract that pays out (for example) $10 million fully-guaranteed in 2021, $15 million with an injury-guarantee that converts to a full guarantee in 2022, and $20 million in non-guaranteed salary in 2023, it’s technically a thee-year, $45 million contract. As a practical matter, however, it’s a one-year, $10 million deal or, possibly, a two-year, $25 million deal.

As another source put it, if multiple teams were truly interested in paying Watt in the range of $15 million to $16 million, it would have made much more sense for the Texans to try to trade Watt to someone who would have purchased his remaining contract ($17.5 million for one year) and then converted it to a more realistic long-term deal.

Under that scenario, the Texans could have shipped Watt to a new team under his current deal for, say, a seventh-round pick in 2021 and, if his contract were extended or if he had re-signed with that team before the 2022 draft, the Texans would have gotten another low-round pick next year.

Thus, if the market truly is in the range of $15 million to $16 million for Watt, the Texans’ decision to simply cut Watt loose without any compensation becomes more confusing. They could have gotten something for him. At a minimum, they could have at least tried.

Then there’s the factor we pointed out last night. It’s difficult to commit to Watt without knowing who else may be available as teams scramble to comply with a reduce salary cap. What if, for example, the Broncos don’t keep Von Miller? Lesser names than Watt or Miller also could become available, and the deals that could be done for those players could end up being much better on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

However it plays out, it’s obvious that Watt has yet to receive an offer that he has accepted. As one source argued on Thursday morning, if Watt were truly being offered a firm and real deal with a true and actual value falling between $15 million and $16 million annually, he should pounce on it.

Maybe he has. Maybe he will. Time, as always, will tell. But when he signs, remember not to draw any conclusions based on the initial reports but instead to wait for the breakdown of the actual details of the deal.

65 responses to “Report emerges of multiple offers to J.J. Watt

  1. Read through the lines: JJ hasn’t received multiple offers; his agent leaked this bogus report to drum up interest. AINT NO ONE PAYING 15MILLION A YEAR FOR 5 SACKS AND 2 FORCED FUMBLES. Especially to a guy who can’t stay healthy.

  2. Malarkey. Nobody offered this dude that. And if they did he’d better jump on it. Take about 12mil off that offer. I cant even believe that someone offered him a multi year deal. You were cut for a reason.

  3. What makes it less confusing is the fact that Texans management is incompetent. Utterly clueless. Von Miller is an interesting idea.

  4. Suppose it is true. The answer to why didn’t the Texans trade him is an easy one to answer. Incompetence due to being lead by a guy without NFL executive experience.

  5. These offers could be from teams he doesn’t want to play for. Therefore he wouldn’t accept one yet.

    Other teams may have said they will make an offer once the cap is finalized.

  6. Uh, sure… If he could stay healthy. If he gets more than 8 million a year I’ll be amazed.

  7. It feels like haggling for a used car the way this article puts it (we all know agents are going to agent).

  8. If he could get 15-16 million on the open market, he’d be worth a second round pick at least. I call BS

  9. I am in the minority but this guy drew a lot of fans, sold a lot of jerseys and brought in a lot of money. He was the face of the Texans for years. Maybe they didn’t release him because they were incompetent. Maybe they wanted to give him the choice to pick where he finished his career and they felt like that was worth more than a 7th round pick. They might have felt like it was the least they could do after essentially squandering his career beating up his body. Maybe sometimes things like this are more important than business. Just a thought.

  10. Agent speak…Agent leaks… no true playoff team will payout that kind of cash… now a second tier wanna be might give 80% of those numbers….

  11. I don’t get the hype. Sure if you pair him with a young superior rusher he might do well but he gets hurt all the time.

  12. ragnarthegreat says:
    February 25, 2021 at 1:18 pm
    I am in the minority but this guy drew a lot of fans, sold a lot of jerseys and brought in a lot of money. He was the face of the Texans for years. Maybe they didn’t release him because they were incompetent. Maybe they wanted to give him the choice to pick where he finished his career and they felt like that was worth more than a 7th round pick. They might have felt like it was the least they could do after essentially squandering his career beating up his body. Maybe sometimes things like this are more important than business. Just a thought.
    —————————————————————————————————
    Or… maybe the Texans were happy he wanted to leave, so they could clear that money off their books before free agency.

  13. I doubt he will get that much. He is valuable, however. The number of double teams he draws every game is a huge bonus for a team. I hope the Packers get him, which will allow for Kenny Clark, Zadarius, and Rashan Gary to be even better.

  14. $15 to $16 million? Not unless it’s a 5-6 year offer that will obviously never be paid out.

  15. Texans have always been the product of a great PR machine first Wylie then Palcic.. now no one. JJ was a Wade Phillips product

  16. The contract could be for around 15 million a year, but a lot of the money would be back loaded and thus wouldn’t be a huge hit on the 2021 cap.

  17. Teams would be better off going after Ryan Kerrigan. He’s still a productive player who doesn’t have a history of injuries.

  18. I don’t blame people for not watching Texans games, but the box score does not tell the story on Watt. Sacks =/= pass rushing production. If he stays healthy, he easily earns a contract that large. If you can’t read past sack numbers, go be a Markus Golden fan.

  19. I’d interpret this article as follows: a gullible reporter was manipulated by an agent into hyping up the market for his client. When you unpack it, there are no verifiable or, specific facts.

  20. Always love the leaked reports like this. It’s obvious that it’s intended to try and drive up a market, even if there is only one team that is truly serious at the moment.

    Nice try, but I expect to see him sign for a contract with low guarantees, high incentives, and team/player options for future years.

  21. Yeah, I will give you $15 million. But the contract will be incentive based. So if you get 12 sacks, 2 INTs, 4 forced fumbles, hit the QB 20 times and make 50 tackles you will get $15 million. Oh, due to health and age you are going to average 25-30 plays a game.

    Based on your 2020 totals that will make you around $7 million based on the incentives.

  22. I believe a team that wants JJ Watt services will come up with a plan pays him a decent salary but is full of incentives. Like maybe based on games played, time on the field, sacs, All pro, pro bowl, playoffs. There can be all kinds of incentives. I wouldn’t pay a flat 15 mil to any player who has history of having injury issues. I would take a chance on somebody of Watt’s stature only with an incentive laden contract. Prove you can still play first at a high level, then collect at the end.

  23. As soon as Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com said Watt was “seriously considering Cleveland”, I knew the Browns had no chance. Her source is the homeless guy who talked to Haslam. She’s always wrong.

  24. I don’t know why he doesn’t just go play with his brothers. I know he wants money but he’s got all his endorsements that make him $$$ along with everything else, he doesn’t need money. And I hate Pittsburgh.

  25. My wish it that JJ Watt would start referring to himself in the third person.

    “JJ Watt only wants to play for a contender”
    “JJ Watt thinks there is more to life”
    “JJ Watt eats Subway.”

  26. Any team would be foolish to pay big money for a player that hasn’t been healthy and fully available for the past several years….

  27. The idea that it would have made sense for the Texans to try and trade JJ for a late pick assumes anyone in that front office has a clue in the first place.

  28. Guy was 15th in win rate out of 116 DE and played all 16 games. Still pretty good, not as good as when he was younger.

  29. This has to be an Agent “Leak”.

    There is no way any GM in his right mind would pay 15M for an aging DE with an injury history… no way. Don’t get me wrong, Watt is a good player, but he’s not a game-changer anymore… It’s just not plausible.

  30. Dude just finished a 16-game season! Might be time to get past the previous seasons he was hurt, unless you just don’t like the guy. Me, I don’t understand rooting against people trying be successful.

  31. JJ Watt and Von Miller are at a crossroads in their careers. If Watt is smart, he’ll take less to play with a contender (KC,TB,GB,Buff) for a real chance at a ring. That being said, can’t hate on Watt if he’s all about that money. Von Miller has to make a similar decision. Miller is due $18m in 2021 and the rumors are the Broncos won’t pay it. He could restructure and get a few more years and retire a Bronco, or chase money on another team. Since Miller has a ring, he’s better off retiring a Bronco.

  32. I wouldn’t want my team to give him $15-16 mil total for a two year contract. The dude has had 1 good year since 2015. Do players get healthier, faster, bigger, and stronger after they’ve gotten older and injury laden?

  33. dualprime says:
    February 25, 2021 at 4:29 pm
    Dude just finished a 16-game season! Might be time to get past the previous seasons he was hurt, unless you just don’t like the guy.
    ////////
    Ok. Then can we just talk about his lousy stats for playing an entire season? And when you’ve been injured 3 out of the last 5 seasons, it HAS to be talked about.

  34. This guy has jumped to the top of the stratosphere level of annoying , joining brady and lebron levels.

  35. im not sure why he should “pounce” on a 15 or 16 million deal. He’s made all the money he’ll ever need. If he would rather win a championship than count his 15 million he’ll pick a winning team that needs him and play for half of that or less.

  36. stainlesssteel says:
    February 25, 2021 at 3:04 pm
    I LOVE Pittsburgh, and we cam spend our money better elsewhere.

    I also LOVE Pittsburgh but we presently have -$33 million to spend elsewhere. I’m not the smartest guy by any means, but I don’t see any money to spend anywhere……unfortunately

  37. freefromwhatyouare says:
    February 25, 2021 at 1:53 pm
    The contract could be for around 15 million a year, but a lot of the money would be back loaded and thus wouldn’t be a huge hit on the 2021 cap

    ///////////

    Some people pretend to know how the cap works

  38. Just the agent working the GM’s. Nobody should give a player with that age and injury history 15 million/yr. 15 million year without further details means little. That could be built up with incentives likely for how many games Watt is able to play. Got a feeling he wants none of that, hence the leak.

  39. If Watt was offered that kind if bread, the article would be about him signing that deal. No way anyone pays him 15 mill on an average for 3 years with any kind of guaranteed money.

  40. Jj watt is not worth 15 million.He is on the backside of his career and hurt alot..He can help some team but no longer a dominate player.

  41. Bills need to cut Q Jefferson, M Addison, T Matakevich and sign Watt… All 3 of those guys are complete non factors and total waste of money. ESPECIALLY Addison, horrendous signing from the start. Beane lives Carolina guys too much.

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