Future Hall of Fame defensive end J.J. Watt announced on Monday morning that he will be playing for the Arizona Cardinals next season. No contract details are available yet.
Update, 10:21 AM: Watt received a two-year, $31 million deal.
The #AZCardinals are giving JJ Watt a 2-year deal worth $31M with $23M guaranteed, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2021
Watt was released by the Houston Texans last month after a request to leave that nightmare situation and many teams were speculated as his next destination. The Arizona Cardinals were not exactly at the top of anyone’s list of where he would end up but this does reunite him with former Texans teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who made a public plea on Twitter for Watt to come to Arizona.
The Cardinals finished 8-8 last season, one win shy of the playoffs after they lost six of their last nine games. Arizona ranked 12th in points allowed, 12th in third down defense, and third in red zone defense. Impending free agent Haason Reddick led the team with 12.5 sacks as linebacker Chandler Jones missed all but five games in 2020.
Watt now joins a defense with Jones, all-pro safety Budda Baker, and recent top-10 pick Isaiah Simmons. Offensively, the team features Kyler Murray, Hopkins, left tackle D.J. Humphries, and the Cards may also choose to focus their efforts on retaining running back Kenyan Drake, who had 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage last season.
The Rams have added Matthew Stafford. The Cardinals have added J.J. Watt. And the 2021 league year hasn’t even started yet.