There’s nothing like the love between brothers. T.J. Watt, fresh off a new contract that makes him the highest-paid defender in the NFL, and his older brother Derek shared a fun moment on Saturday.
Walking the tarmac toward the Pittsburgh Steelers’ charter, Watt snapped a photo of his big brother (and all of his fancy bags).
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The two siblings and their Steelers teammates were boarding a plane to Buffalo for the Week 1 matchup versus the Bills. In the Ben Roethlisberger era, Pittsburgh’s head-to-head record with Buffalo is 5-2. The two losses came to the Josh Allen-led Bills.
T.J. Watt Looked to Brothers for Contract Advice
After what Watt called a “stressful” process negotiating a long-term contract with the Steelers, he had many people to thank, including his brothers.
“It was a long process and, like I said, I have two brothers who have kind of gone through it: Derek once with the Steelers and J.J. too,” Watt said in a September 10 press conference.
Except it was all a blur for Derek and J.J., just as it ended up being for T.J.
“They weren’t much help when it came to remembering what it was like, and I kind of understand why now,” Watt recalled. “I remember asking J.J. early on, I said, ‘Well, how did your negotiations go?’ and he said, ‘Once you sign on that dotted line, man, you kind of forget what happened leading up to that moment.’ And that’s kind of how this whole thing has been for me too. There were some long days for sure, but like I said, it’s all paid off, and now I’m just focused on playing football.”
Watt is even more hungry after signing the historic contract with Pittsburgh on Friday. He’ll be amped up to continue harassing quarterbacks starting Sunday in Buffalo. Expect Watt to go out and top his career-high 15 sacks, which led the NFL in 2020.
J.J. Watt to Pittsburgh
After his much-publicized release from the Houston Texans in February, Watt’s eldest brother suddenly found himself a free agent. Steelers Nation was all a-buzz about the All-Pro defensive end donning the Black and Gold. It would’ve been a fitting end to Watt’s career and, though it was never realistic, you have to admit it would’ve been pretty amazing to have all three Watt brothers in Pittsburgh.
The ever-popular Primanti Bros. had even vowed via a Twitter post to change its name to Watt Bros. if J.J. Watt became a Steeler.
In the end, J.J. Watt chose to head southwest to play for the Arizona Cardinals. Before Watt became a Cardinal, veteran NFL insider John Clayton reported the Bills were among the favorites to land the five-time Pro Bowler. The three Watt brothers could’ve been reunited on the playing field this season as they were in Pittsburgh in 2020.
J.J. Watt is no longer the player he once was (NFL players rarely are at 32), but he was an incredible defender in his prime.
Selected 11th-overall by the Texans in the 2011 NFL draft, Watt was a defensive force to be reckoned with for 10 seasons in Houston. In that span, he amassed 101 sacks, 531 tackles (172 for loss) and 282 quarterback hits. Watt added to those numbers 25 forced fumbles and 16 recovered (per Pro Football Reference).