Veteran NFL reporter John Clayton believes the Green Bay Packers are one of the favorites to sign free agent defensive lineman JJ Watt.
Clayton ruled out the Pittsburgh Steelers as a realistic landing place and identified the Packers, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills as favorites to land Watt, with the Vegas Raiders as another possible option.
“I think it will be Tennessee or Buffalo or Green Bay, probably more Tennessee or Green Bay. Out of chance on the Raiders, ”Clayton said at 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
Watt is expected to sign a contender, and all three teams listed as favorites were playoff teams in 2020. The Packers and Bills advanced to their conference title games but were close to reaching the Super Bowl.
The Steelers have been a popular potential landing spot for Watt, who could join brothers TJ and Derek in Pittsburgh. Clayton said it doesn’t work out financially.
Money could be a problem for Watt and the Packers, a team that still exceeds $ 12 million over the projected cap in 2021, but general manager Brian Gutekunst has plenty of ways to clear enough room for a competitive offer. to Watt, a three NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Clayton believes that an older player like Watt could struggle to get $ 10 million per year on his next contract.
“I’m so eager to see what it ends up getting,” Clayton said.
Clayton’s opinion matches what Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber has heard about the market from Watt. According to Huber, Watt has not received the offers he expected.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Watt is beginning to narrow down his team options, but nothing in terms of a signing is imminent.
If signed, Watt would provide a talented and disruptive force for the Packers’ defense front. On the field, he would provide value both as a defender from the edge and as an inside pass rusher. A highly respected veteran with a long list of individual accomplishments, Watt would also provide a Aaron Rodgers-influenced leader for the Packers’ defense.