The future Hall of Famer made a surprise decision on Monday. The Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and Green Bay Packers were the teams most often connected to the former Houston Texans superstar, with the Bills reportedly giving Arizona the stiffest competition. Instead, he’s joining former teammate DeAndre Hopkins in the desert.
A day later, and J.J. has put pen to paper. Watt has reportedly signed a two-year deal worth $31 million, with $23 million guaranteed.
The Cardinals tweeted out the customary photo of Watt signing the new deal. He’s all smiles to be with a new team, and one with high expectations entering year three with Kyler Murray under center.
Officially official. pic.twitter.com/dwjQzWEcG2
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) March 2, 2021
Ian Rapoport says that the Cardinals were, in fact, the highest bidder for Watt in free agency. He does think the team is a strong fit as well, so the move makes sense for both sides.
“The money, I would say, is a little more than I anticipated… it sounded like most people saw J.J. Watt in the $11, maybe to $12 (million) range, thinking it could possibly get up to $13. The Cardinals made a very strong move, they paid for it, and they got J.J. Watt in the end, which is exactly what they were hoping to do.”
Watt says that guys like Murray and Hopkins, and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, played a big part in his decision.
Watt mentioned Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Vance Joseph as reasons he chose the Cardinals.
He said Joseph runs a similar scheme to the one that Wade Phillips ran in Houston, so he was familiar with that.
— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) March 2, 2021
Watt played in all 16 games this season, just the second time he’s done so since 2015. Hopefully, he can make that happen once again for the Arizona Cardinals, and put in some big seasons down the home stretch of his impressive career.
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