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Packers Must Sign J.J. Watt for Aaron Rodgers

Brian Giuffra
JJ Watt.
JJ Watt. / Scott Halleran/Getty Images
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The Packers pissed Aaron Rodgers off when they drafted his presumed successor, Jordan Love, in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. They didn't do anything to make amends at the trade deadline, opting against signing a No. 2 wide receiver despite the Packers' glaring need in that department. Those decisions ultimately played a role in the Packers losing in the NFC Championship for the second year in a row and left Rodgers questioning his future with the organization moving forward.

Well, the Packers have just been given a golden opportunity to make it up to Rodgers by signing J.J. Watt.

It may seem odd to suggest the Packers signing a defensive player would make Rodgers happy. While Watt has dabbled on the offensive side of the ball, catching three touchdowns in his career, he won't make a big difference to Rodgers' stats in 2021 and beyond.

However, Rodgers' primary goal at this point in his career is winning a Super Bowl, which is the same goal Watt has. Adding anyone as talented and driven as Watt to the Packers roster would finally signal to Rodgers the Packers are as all-in on winning the Super Bowl as he is.

The Packers were tied for 10th in the NFL in team sacks in 2020, but in their NFC Championship loss to the Bucs, they only got to Tom Brady one time. Meanwhile, the Bucs sacked Rodgers five times. The Bucs pass rush was the difference in the Super Bowl as well, proving once successfully rushing the passer is paramount to winning in the postseason.

The Packers top pass rushers (Za'Darius Smith, Rashan Gary, Preston Smith) are all under contract next year. Adding Watt to that rotation gives them a proven weapon and leader at arguably the most important position on the defensive side of the ball.

The Packers, who are currently over the cap, began to free up money by restructuring David Bakhtiari's contract. They have to make more adjustments to give Watt a contract he feels comfortable with. But the sell on coming to Green Bay shouldn't be hard. Watt is a Wisconsin native, went to the University of Wisconsin and lives in Wisconsin in the offseason. More importantly, Watt wants to win a title and the Packers give him as good a chance of that as any team in the NFL.

The Packers have an amazing opportunity to improve their team by signing one of the best defensive players over the last 20 years. But more than that, they have an opportunity to show Aaron Rodgers they're as all-in on winning a title as he is. Re-signing running back Aaron Jones and center Corey Linsley, and drafting or signing another wide receiver are also important to that pursuit. But signing Watt would be an equally important representation of their commitment to Rodgers.

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