Considering the Browns: Is JJ Watt going to play against his brothers?
The Houston Texans are in the midst of a downward spiral as the team’s two biggest stars want to leave Houston. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson demanded a trade at the end of January. Now their All-Pro defensive end JJ Watt and the Texans have mutually agreed to part ways last week.
According to ESPN, a dozen teams are interested in Watt, including the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. The two rival AFC North teams will surely be battling for the elite edge rusher. Both have unique advantages that should intrigue Watt.
The two teams are great fits for Watt, with one allowing him to join his brothers. Here are arguments for both teams.
— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) February 12, 2021
JJ Watt’s brothers, TJ & Derek, both play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers were one of the best defenses in the league last year, led by TJ Watt. However, JJ Watt would step into the defensive end role. Not to say the defensive line needs to be overhauled, but the idea of having the Watt brothers together is a huge appeal.
TJ led the league with fifteen sacks, forty-three solo tackles, and an interception. They also were third in the league in yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and points allowed per game. The rushing defense needed the most work and kept the outside the top ten rushing defenses.
The rushing defense hindered the team down the stretch and in the playoffs. In their back-to-back losses to the Browns, the defense allowed 319 rushing yards through both games.
Although Watt is more of a pass rusher, he’ll help open up the run defense. When you have a great defensive lineman on the opposite side of the ball, you need to play for him. That’s how other players get their time to shine. The offense is too worried about one player that someone else gets through.
As much as siblings joining forces would be a major headline next season if JJ Watt heads to Pittsburgh, a sibling rivalry could draw more attention. The idea of two defensive greats in one family battling it out twice a year might be more exciting than seeing them play together every week.
Watt would be lining up opposite one of the best defensive ends in the game in Myles Garrett. Garrett was sixth in the league in sacks with twelve and forty-eight total tackles. The Browns rank near the middle of the league in major defensive categories. The addition of JJ Watt would elevate this rising team.
The Browns went on a tare this season, going 11-5. It was their first season above .500 since 2007 and their first playoff appearance since 2002. This new iteration of the Browns under head coach Kevin Stefanski is looking to take over the AFC North. Watt would be coming into a great team looking to keep the momentum going.
Which is more likely?
According to Cleveland.com, Watt is seriously considering Cleveland. The website says he’s looking for a team with cap space, a super bowl contender, a great environment and supporting cast.
Cleveland definitely checks off the cap space box. They have $21 million to spend this off season, and starting with Watt would be a smart pick up. Cleveland is inching closer to Super Bowl contention. If they manage to grab Watt, they inch even closer to a Super Bowl appearance. Then the offense steadily upgraded the last few seasons, and Stefanski is leading a great team.
The big thing is the sibling rivalry would be so much more interesting than a sibling team up. Pittsburgh fans would want a sibling team up. NFL fans would love to watch the sibling rivalry. It would be a must watch TV next season to watch JJ Watt lead the Browns against his brothers & the Steelers. If Watt heads to Cleveland, we can easily guess what two of the fifty-one prime time games will be next season.
Which team do you think JJ Watt would sign with? Does he join his brothers in Pittsburgh or goes against them in Cleveland? Or does he go to a different team? Let us know in the comments.