J.J. Watt signs for Arizona Cardinals


Will Lawrence, Article Contributor

JJ Watt is one of the best NFL defenders in the history of the league. He received the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award three times in his first five seasons. Watt has a career 531 tackles, 101 sacks, 61 pass deflections, 25 forced fumbles, 16 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions, and 3 defensive touchdowns. He even has three offensive touchdowns. In 2014, Watt became the first player in NFL history to record 20+ sack seasons in a career. He holds the Texans’ franchise records for both sacks and forced fumbles. In 2017, Sports Illustrated named Watt its Sportsperson of the Year. Even without his skills, JJ Watt would be one of the most important, vocal players on any team. He would be the best leader and a great teammate.

Two weeks ago, on February 12, JJ watt and the Houston Texans decided to mutually part ways, making him an unrestricted free agent. In a video announcing his release, Watt said he is “excited and looking forward to a new opportunity” but says it will be “tough to move on” from what has been his home for the past 10 seasons. As soon as JJ stated that he was a free agent, most of the teams in the league gave his agent a phone call. Many teams offered contracts but JJ wanted three things from his future team; cap space (money), a supporting cast, and a good quarterback. 

Over the next 12-13 days, experts had predicted that JJ Watt would either be on the Cleveland Browns, the Green Bay Packers, the Tennessee Titans, or the Buffalo Bills. All four of these teams had great offers for Watt. The Browns, Titans, and the Bills are all good playoff teams that could offer money and had good supporting casts, with young, talented quarterbacks. One team stood out. The Green Bay Packers are located in JJ’s hometown. His parents live in Wisconsin, he went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he spends all of his off time there. The Packers had everything JJ wanted, plus more. They have the reigning MVP, good money, and a team that just made it to the NFC championship. 

On March 1, the Packers were rumored to be the number one team for Watt. Everyone predicted that he would be signed to a two year deal for fifteen million dollars. Everyone was wrong. JJ Watt surprised most people by signing a 2-year, $31 million dollar deal, with $23 million dollars guaranteed with the Arizona Cardinals. Even though that is a lot of money, people were still shocked. Watt has plenty of money and since he is at the end of his career, people expected him to sign with a team who could win a ring. 

JJ Watt spent the entire two weeks making jokes and teasing NFL fan bases on twitter. He tweeted sentences and jokes that people were guessing what it meant. Watt ended up posting a picture of himself in an Arizona Cardinals shirt with the caption, “Source: me.” JJ Watt really shocked most of the NFL by signing with the Cardinals. I don’t really know if that was a super smart move by him but I guess we will see in the future.