J.J. Watt was released on Friday by the Houston Texans per his request. While the Seahawks need more talent, they should pass on Watt. J.J. Watt has been an exceptional talent and very productive defensive end in the NFL. But his last five seasons compare very poorly to his first five seasons and if the Seahawks were to sign him Watt would likely be a lot more like that latter than the former.
J.J. Watt has been injured in three of his last five seasons. He will be 32 years old when the 2021 season begins and while this isn’t really old Watt appears to have aged a lot since 2015. Watt has 101 sacks in his 10 seasons. 26.5 of those came in the last five years and 74.5 came in the first five.
Plus, if you throw out his excellent 2018 season when Watt had 16 sacks, he has just 10.5 in the other four years combined. This past year Watt had 17 quarterback hits though he did play 16 games. 17 is his fewest when he has played a full season. He also had just 11 hurries, 21 fewer than his 2018 season.
J.J. Watt is 2021
J.J. Watt is still a good player but he is no longer great. If he were, the Texans would have balked, most likely, at his request to be released. He was due to make $17.5 million in 2021 and there is no way he makes close to that with any other team this coming season with his digressing production and the salary cap likely not growing any or at all.
The Seahawks still need good pass rushers, especially if they release Carlos Dunlap because of his $14 million salary next year. But Watt would take up salary cap space, even if he agrees to a deal worth $8 million (unlikely), that Seattle needs to spend on other players and other positions.
The offensive line needs an upgrade. The running back group needs to be revamped. There is simply no room for J.J. Watt and money spent towards him is more like giving it to him in the way Seattle did Greg Olsen in 2020 than a superstar in 2021.