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End of Wattch: JJ Watt Signs with the Arizona Cardinals

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JJ Watt has put an end to the stressful situation monitoring that has been his free agency. Watt has announced today, March 1st, that he is signing with the Arizona Cardinals for a two-year contract that Ian Rapoport says is worth $31 million dollars with $23 million guaranteed. The announcement made 98% of the NFL world confused and the other two percent, Cardinals fans, likely ecstatic. But why confused, you ask? Let’s break it down…

Watt Announced His Signing With A Picture On Social Media

The picture showed Watt in the middle of a workout (something he is known to do often) wearing an Arizona Cardinals tee shirt. The caption read “Source: me”. This is confusing because it came from Watt’s verified Twitter account. Which makes the source obvious. Was Watt making a joke? Was this sarcasm? Please tell me because I have tied up my family and am threatening to burn the house down if I do not receive an answer.

Watt Tricks Everyone By Expressing His Priorities…Then Going Against Them

Watt expressed his desires for a team attempting to acquire his services. His priorities were:

  1. A championship-caliber team
  2. A good supporting cast
  3. Money

Maury Povich just called and said that was determined to be a lie. Just how well did Watt address his priorities?

A Championship-Caliber Team

Watt joins the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West, which consists of the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and Los Angeles Rams. After an unfortunate Super Bowl loss and an injury-plagued season, I believe many expect San Francisco to return to form and compete for the division title. The Los Angeles Rams are in a “win now, suck later” mode where they are not expected to have a first-round pick until Kanye becomes president. One team they could compete with is the Seahawks where Pete Carroll appears to be dumbing himself down to Kliff Kingsbury’s level. But will he get there during Watt’s contracted two-year tenure? Who knows.

A Strong Supporting Cast

Arizona started off the 2020 season with a 5-2 record. Sadly, they finished the season 8-8. Last season they finished 5-10-1, and the year before that 3-13. Clearly they are showing an upward trajectory that could see them finishing the 2021 season with ten, maybe even eleven wins. That’s just what a graph would show. Do they have the talent? Sure. They have a talented quarterback-receiver duo in Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins and some nice pieces on defense in Budda Baker and [insert another good defensive player here]. Do they have a good head coach? They have A head coach in Kliff Kingsbury who somehow got a job in the NFL. So…that’s something. Kingsbury responded to Watt’s signing by saying, “I was really surprised he came here. He said he wanted a team with good pieces on both sides of the ball. I reached to him immediately to ask him if he was aware I was still the head coach. He said he knew, so that was cool.”

Money

JJ Watt is reported to be making $31 million dollars in two years, per Ian Rapoport, which comes out to $15.5 million per season, $1.5 million shy of what he was going to make with Houston. Look, Watt said money was his third priority. Clearly, it was still a priority as many were probably hoping he could be landed for somewhere around $10-12 million per season. When asked about the price, Watt responded, “When I listed money as my third priority, I started getting some low offers. And I was like, wait! I like money, and I want more of it. So clearly I took a higher offer because money.”

Conclusion

Was Watt true to his priorities? My verdict: not really. He still got paid. He joined a team that many did not have on the list when considering “championship-caliber”. The team has good pieces on both sides of the ball but with a questionable head coach. Do you think Watt made the right decision?

Jeramy Allen is a contributor for Buffalo Fanatics. When he is not writing he is hosting the Buffalo Bootleg podcast which airs every Sunday on your preferred podcast app. You can follow him on Twitter  @BFF_Jeramy.

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