Will J.J. Watt lobby to join his brothers on the Steelers in 2023?

J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts before a game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts before a game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

J.J. Watt has an expiring contract this coming offseason, and he could look to reunite with his brothers as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers made one of the best decisions of this generation when they decided to take T.J. Watt with the 30th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Two years later, the organization signed Derek Watt as a free agent following the expiration of his rookie contract with the Chargers.

Since the very moment that these two brothers reunited on the same team, it was in our nature to wonder if or when we would ever see J.J. Watt come to town.

Some fans believed this could have happened as early as the 2021 offseason. After the Texans in February of 2021 for financial reasons, Steelers fans were optimistic that this could be the family reunion we’ve all been waiting for. However, Pittsburgh was in quite the financial bind at the time, and bringing in a player as expensive as Watt just wasn’t in the cards.

But just because we haven’t seen all three Watt brothers on the same team yet, doesn’t mean that it can’t happen.

As it stands, J.J. is set to have his contract voided following the 2022 season, and the three-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner will be free to sign with whichever team he pleases.

Will J.J. Watt want to join the Steelers?

Rumors circulated in the past that Watt had an interest in playing with his brothers. T.J. and Derek even admitted that J.J. was jealous of them at times and the fact that they got to play together. After making a killing in his NFL career, it’s possible that Watt could look to finish his career with his brothers. Approaching age 34, Watt could look for one more quality contract and a final place to play out his NFL career.

Of course, a potential partnership here is a two-way street. The Steelers would not only need to have a strong interest in acquiring Watt, but they would probably need to be willing to overpay for his reputation at this stage in his career.

Though Watt is still a respectable football player, he’s nowhere near as dominant as he was earlier in his career. It’s possible that he could find a late surge if sandwiched between Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt, as he would no longer be the player drawing the attention of the opposing offense, but the Steelers should not expect an All-Pro level player at this point in his career.

Pittsburgh could also be looking to get younger on defense as well, and adding a player like Watt is a step in the opposite direction. However, we’re not oblivious to how much Mike Tomlin and the organization value family bloodlines — we saw this when they overpaid for Derek Watt.

For those who hope this happens, it’s worth noting that J.J. Watt recently tweeted about the joy of his daughter’s first home game and his last NFL game. Take that for what you will, but it’s possible that he’s thinking of hanging up his cleats for good after this season.

Watching all three Watt brothers on the same team would be like a dream come true for Steelers fans. It would certainly get us fired up watching J.J. and T.J. slap each other on the helmet after one of them records a sack.

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If J.J. joined the Pittsburgh Steelers at this stage in his career, it won’t mean nearly as much as it would have a few years back. However, it certainly seems more feasible than ever that this could actually happen during the 2023 offseason.