The Cleveland Browns are in the running to land high-profile free agent JJ Watt and linebacker Mack Wilson is doing his part to let the former Defensive Player of the Year know that he’s wanted by the guys in the locker room.
Wilson fired off a tweet directed at Watt on Tuesday night aiming at recruiting the free agent pass-rusherto the Browns.
“Let’s make it happen,” Wilson wrote, tagging Watt and Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.
Watt would be the perfect player for the Browns to pair with Garrett, who was a first-team All-Pro last season. Watt bring to the table a hefty resume that includes three Defensive Player of the Year honors, five First-Team All-Pro selections and 101 career sacks.
Watt has dealt with injuries, playing just two full seasons since 2016, but has been fairly productive when he’s on the field. He had five sacks last season, four in eight games the year prior and 16 sacks in 2018 — the last time he made the Pro Bowl. Watt had double-digit sacks four seasons in a row from 2012-15, including a pair of 20.5-sack seasons.
Browns Are Betting Favorite to Land JJ Watt
The Browns have become the favorite to land Watt, per BetOnline, coming in at -150. The odds for Watt’s next team are:
- Browns -150
- Packers +500
- Steelers +550
- Bills +700
- Buccaneers +750
- Ravens +1000
- Colts/Cowboys +1400
- Patriots/Rams/49ers +1600
- Titans +1800
- Dolphins +2000
Those odds go hand in hand with a recent report from Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, which said that Watt was seriously considering the Browns because they had both the money and Super Bowl potential he’s looking for.
Watt is unlikely to take a discount due to the number of suitors he’s attracted. Cabot expects Watt to fetch close to $17.5 million per year, which he would have been paid if he stayed with the Texans. The Browns have about $21.7 million in cap space available.
JJ Watt & Myles Garrett Would Be Lethal Combination
The Browns defense was not great last season, but injuries and COVID-19 issues played a part in that. The good thing is that Cleveland has pieces in place to be a very good defense and adding players like Watt will only help their cause.
On of those key pieces is Garrett, who inked a massive extension last offseason and proved to be worth every penny. He was one of the NFL’s most disruptive forces off the edge, collecting 12 sacks, two pass deflections and four forced fumbles in just 14 games.
“I’m never happy with losing,” Garrett said after the season during the league’s Pro Bowl event. “We are always trying to go to the very end and be there. We have a young core. We go back, keep building on what we have this year and take another crack at it.”
Olivier Vernon stepped up in the second half of last year, but was far from a consistent threat opposite Garrett during his two years in Clevleand. Vernon is an unrestrcited free agent and is unlikely to return to the Browns after rupturing his Achilles in the final game of the season.
Having Watt on the other end would be quite the headache for opposing offenses and only enhance the stats of both players.