Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt recently hinted at playing for the Chicago Bears, but the scenario is much more realistic than you think.
By now, you may have seen the blurb floating around the web and social media regarding Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and his love for the city of Chicago. Watt said he loved the city, the food and hinted at lining up on the same front seven as Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears.
Before we find ourselves dreaming of what a scary sight that might be, or get all bent out of shape thinking this is just some ridiculous rumor, let’s look at the facts, shall we?
J.J. Watt has only played one full season in his last four years. In that year, he was an All Pro (2018). When healthy, he is an absolute monster. But, Watt is 31 years old and, by all accounts, on the down swing simply because of past injuries.
So, we’ve established the fact that even thinking about trading for Watt is a risk. But, what if Watt didn’t necessarily want to be in Houston much longer?
A recent report talks about a conference call Watt had with reporters. Essentially, Watt told them that he will not demand an extension at this point because he is well aware of “what has happened the last few years [likely pointing to injuries].”
He has two years remaining after the 2020 season, with both being non-guaranteed.
“I think if I went back and asked for an extension or more money right now, I think that would be the wrong move.” -Watt
So, the Texans very well could let him go after the 2020 campaign and not owe him a dime. Watt seems to understand he’s not in any strong position to ask for an extension, probably because he’s well aware his body might not be worth it — and that would be an admirable stance.
The other end of the spectrum is that Watt might not want to be in Houston any longer. Let’s be honest: Bill O’Brien hasn’t exactly ran the tightest, most efficient of ships there as of late. Trading DeAndre Hopkins did not go over well with face of the franchise Deshaun Watson, and I wonder if Watt shares the same sentiments.
So, Watt could be released after this season. His body is nothing to be counted on at this stage. Houston has already made plenty of trades over the last year or two. O’Brien isn’t afraid of a controversial deal.
See where I’m going with this?
General manager Ryan Pace should absolutely monitor the Watt situation. Obviously, health is the number one part of the equation with Watt. But, with the ability to void the last two years of his deal, shouldn’t the Bears at least take a swing at acquiring the 3-time Defensive Player of the Year?
It seems like a no-brainer, assuming the price would be right. Heck, even if they paid a little more than Watt’s value, the potential reward is far greater than the risk. This is the part where you are allowed to fantasize.
Robert Quinn, Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Eddie Goldman, Mack and Watt — that starting front seven would be the scariest in all of football, hands down. If Pace is keeping tabs, he might want to consider picking up the phone and entertaining a deal.