J.J. Watt will ‘likely’ be traded and Steelers should be calling the Texans
By Tommy Jaggi
The Steelers could earn the hat-trick by landing the third Watt brother. Here’s why J.J. Watt is ‘likely’ available for trade.
The Bill O’Brien era is finally over in Houston, but the Texans are still left to pick up the pieces from some of the disastrous moves he made while simultaneously acting as the head coach and general manager. After trading away one of the best receivers in the league for a now 29-year-old running back, quarterback Deshaun Watson has finally had enough. The Texans are now looking to rebuild their roster and the Steelers should be taking notice.
Recently, John P. Lopez of SportsRadio 610 reported that the Texans are leaning towards ‘accommodating J.J. (Watt)’ and that he will ‘likely be moved’ this offseason:
The Steelers have plenty of issues of their own this offseason as they are replacing at least four coaches and will be forced to make a handful of significant cuts. Still, they should at least inquire about a trade with the Texans for J.J. Watt. Though it seems like a financial nightmare to try to get something like this to work, it may not be as challenging as you think.
Steelers can easily get under the cap
Admittedly, the financial outlook for Pittsburgh this offseason does not look promising. According to Over the Cap, the Steelers currently sit at $21 million in the hole. However, with the right circumstances, it won’t take much at all to climb out of that.
Though it is rumored that Ben Roethlisberger may return for a final season thanks to Pittsburgh’s decision to promote from within and make Matt Canada the offensive coordinator, this is far from a decision that has been set in stone. If, however, Ben elects to retire, his decision will save Pittsburgh nearly enough to get out of financial debt.
In addition, there are several no-brainer cuts that the Steelers could make to free up money to land a player like J.J. Watt if need be. Players like Vance McDonald, Eric Ebron, and Maurkice Pouncey seem like perfect candidates to get the boot this offseason, and Pittsburgh could instantly save $19.2 million with their release from the team.
Obviously, the Steelers have many other players who they will look to retain, and an entire draft class that will need to be signed later this offseason, so trading for a player with a cap number of $17.5 million in 2021 would still be a challenge. Still, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to ask Houston to take on a portion of that money in order to execute his trade – assuming they make a few moves to cover their assets this year.
J.J. Watt isn’t the Defensive Player of the Year he once was, and youth is no longer on his side. Still, Pittsburgh could keep their defensive line elite with a blockbuster move like this and it shouldn’t cost them a lot in draft compensation. If they can make a few cuts and work out the financial details, this is something within the realm of possibility. At the very least, it wouldn’t hurt to call the Texans to discuss some options.