J.J. Watt Odds: Steelers, Packers Early Betting Favorites for Star's Next Team

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2021

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt yells as he takes the field for an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The NFL free-agent pool this offseason has been given a surprising new addition with J.J. Watt's announcement that he and the Houston Texans have agreed to a mutual parting of ways after 10 seasons. 

Per DraftKings SportsBook, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the early favorites with +400 odds to sign Watt. Other top contenders include the Green Bay Packers (+900), Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks (both at +1000). 

DraftKings Sportsbook @DKSportsbook

The Steelers (+400) are the favorite to sign J.J. Watt (Market: CO/IL Only) https://t.co/wUkR6zUrMm

As soon as word of Watt's release became public, the Steelers immediately stood out as his most-likely landing spot. 

Pittsuburgh already has his brothers, pass-rusher T.J. and fullback Derek, on the roster. T.J. seemed to be asking J.J. to join him by posting a GIF of The Rock on Twitter:

TJ Watt @_TJWatt

https://t.co/HacHLcXJI6 https://t.co/6ACIM6YYOZ

The 2021 salary cap is going to be a big story in free agency. Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the league and NFL Players' Association began negotiating the cap for next season in January. 

Pelissero noted there is hope among some team officials that the cap could end up as high as $185 million, instead of the $175 million figure that has been discussed throughout the regular season. 

Even factoring in a higher-than-expected cap, $185 million would still mark a $13 million decrease from 2020 because of lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Steelers have a lot of questions to answer this offseason before getting to free agency. They are currently $18.8 million over the projected cap with 25 players set to become unrestricted free agents next month, including starting pass-rusher Bud Dupree. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva are other notable upcoming free agents. 

The Packers don't have nearly as many free agents to worry about, but they are projected to be $21.85 million over the cap.

Spotrac currently projects 21 teams have cap space, including 18 clubs with at least $10 million available.

Among the top betting favorites for Watt, the Indianapolis Colts (+1200) have the most money to spend with $78.5 million in cap room. The Miami Dolphins (+1100) are another strong candidate based on having $35.6 million in cap space to play with. 

Watt remains an impactful pass-rusher at the age of 31. He had five sacks in 16 starts for the Texans last season and has averaged 8.3 sacks per season dating back to 2018. 


For all the latest betting information and reaction, check out B/R Betting.

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