When J.J. Watt was released by the Houston Texans, the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed the most obvious destination. They had one clear and obvious advantage over every other potential suitor: both of J.J.’s brothers under contract. Pittsburgh is also usually pretty good, ranging anywhere from low-end playoff contenders to legitimate championship contenders. If Watt’s priority was winning and family in that order, the Steelers were his spot.
Sadly for Steelers faithful, it seems Watt does care at least a bit about getting paid, because a substantial salary was the one thing they couldn’t really offer him. Pittsburgh is currently projected to be $6 million over the cap as things stand right now, so even if they moved money around and restructured contracts and the whole nine yards they couldn’t offer Watt a market-value deal.
John Clayton of ESPN reports the Steelers are now out, with Tennessee, Buffalo, and Green Bay leading the pack as favorites to sign the multi-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Too bad. It would have been cool to see J. Watt and T. Watt wreaking havoc together on the same defensive front. His presence also would have boosted the Steelers’ postseason chances rather significantly; if Ben Roethlisberger does, indeed, run it back and stays healthy the whole year, the onus will be on the defense to win football games. They’ll have to look elsewhere for reinforcements now.
Green Bay would probably be the most fun. Perhaps it would begin the superteam movement in the NFL. Regardless, there will be not be maximum Wattage in the Steel City this fall.