J.J. Watt seems completely checked out in Houston. A week ago he mused about wanting to play for a contender and not being up for a rebuild. Then on Wednesday he had a strong, negative reaction to the Texans firing their head of public relations, Amy Palcic. It's clear Watt's relationship with the franchise is irreparably damaged.
Watt is openly bucking the only franchise he's ever known. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year is in his 10th season in Houston and has had enough. He stood by like the good soldier while Bill O'Brien sunk a talent-laden roster and continually sold off assets in awful trades. He's watched as owner Cal McNair has elevated former team chaplain Jack Easterby into a position of immense power he's woefully unqualified for. I'm shocked it hasn't completely broken the veteran defensive end to watch this happen.
Let's be real, Watt probably only has a few years left. He's dealt with injuries on and off throughout his career and his body is beaten up. He has one year and $17.5 million left on his contract, but the Texans can cut him this offseason without incurring a cap hit. That might be the best move for both parties if Watt is actually checked out.
The 31-year-old has four sacks in eight games this season, the same total he reached in eight games in 2019. Since 2016, he's only played more than eight games once (in 2018) and has totaled 25.5 sacks in those five seasons. He can still impact games but he isn't the same guy he once was. Despite his diminishing impact on the field, he's widely respected and could provide a ton of leadership to whichever team picked him up.
Watt's future likely won't be as an every down player. But that doesn't mean he won't be valuable. The Texans need to get him the heck out of town and cede team leadership to Deshaun Watson. Let Watt go chase a championship somewhere else -- maybe with his brothers in Pittsburgh. Keeping things as they are in Houston is a recipe for disaster.