The Cleveland Browns are one of the top landing spots for J.J. Watt
Top betting site betonline.ag has released odds for J.J. Watt‘s next team, and the Cleveland Browns are high on the list. Cleveland’s 5/1 odds rank fourth behind the Green Bay Packers (4/1), Buffalo Bills (4/1), and Pittsburgh Steelers (5/2).
There are a few qualifications that Watt suitors must meet. First, they must have enough cap space (or the ability to easily create enough cap space) to sign him, which the Steelers do not. They must also be a legitimate Super Bowl contender…which the Steelers are also not.
Playing with his brother T.J. might be something that Watt would like to do, but unless he’s willing to sign for practically nothing, play a rotational role, and miss the playoffs, that won’t be happening.
Both the Packers and Bills make a lot of sense as Super Bowl contenders who made their respective conference’s championship games, and may have won if not for some questionable coaching decisions.
Cleveland also makes a ton of sense for Watt. Cap space? Or at least the ability to create the money needed to sign him? Check. Super Bowl contender? Check. The opportunity to beat little brother twice a year? Check.
The Browns will do their due diligence on Watt, and would certainly benefit from adding him. He is injury-prone (although he’s played in every game over the past two seasons), will turn 32 next month, and won’t come cheap, but he’s still one of the most disruptive defenders in the NFL.
Watt requires a double-team on many snaps. So does Myles Garrett. That means four blockers committed to two defenders, leaving one (plus tight ends and backs) to deal with two other DL plus any blitzers. Now that sounds like a fun time for Cleveland.
Price will obviously dictate the Browns interest in Watt, and so will contract structure. How long of a deal is he going to want? How much can the team protect itself financially against another injury?
There is also the question of what role Watt would play in Joe Woods’ defense. He’s a terrific run defender and is still one of the NFL’s best pass-rushers. Would he be better at EDGE opposite Garrett, or inside at 3-tech next to him? Signing Watt would necessitate moving on from Sheldon Richardson (and almost certainly a pricey slot receiver), and the Browns would need to find a starter at whichever position Watt doesn’t fill.
A projected starting defensive line of Myles Garrett, J.J. Watt, Andrew Billings, and Romeo Okwara sounds pretty good for the Cleveland Browns and pretty bad for opposing offenses.