2021 JJ Watt Signs With Cardinals
March 1, 2021 - We were all but dead-set on not publishing a lot of guesswork, speculation or a lot of "this is what's best for the Cards" prognostication given the weird, unpredictable times we live in. (Like most of you, I'm past Injection #1, with Shot #2 a 3 week or away).
So I've been inclined to log-off my I-Pad and wait for Draft Day to clarify all things pro football.
That was until the news flash appeared across my TV screen.
"Cardinals Sign JJ Watts."
My first inclination was to log onto the Arizona Sports Fans blog to determine who the idiot was who posted such a big crock of bleep. Well, surprise ! Turns out that JJ (who apparently has remained in close touch with former Texans WR DeAndrea Hopkins and DC Vance Josep)h was let go by the Texans and had indeed signed a 2-year mga-bucks deal with Arizona.
At first blush, you've got to like this deal if only because it installs an icon in the Cardinal locker room (we'd expect some of the miscues and dumb play that may very well have cost us a Playoff berth to be unacceptabe to a JJ Watts inspired defense). The net-impact on the field to the addition of JJ is promising but not a slam dunk either. On paper, the new Cards seem to be overloaded with EDGE guys (i.e. Watts, Chandler Jones, Hassan Reddick, Markus Golden, Isaiah Simmons). cap-wise, we probably can't keep 'em all.
Nevertheless, reaction around the League seems to be a smidge over the top - the NFL Network folks and a local AZ Republic/USA Today columnist are shamelessly crowning the Cardinals as a playoff-bound, "team of the year" and as a franchise "image changer' but most Cardinal diehards have "been there and done that" when it comes to hyped up optimism.
As I see it, there are too many pieces to the puzzle and inside relationships to fully iunderstand all the pluses, minuses and internal chemistry that still have to play themselves out. But, at the very least, you've got to love the increased leverage it gives the franchise at a position much coveted by most NFL teams.
It's hard not to lick your chops about Watts and C Jones coming off the edge, with Reddick and Golden as backups along with Simmons lined up at safety next to Budda Baker. One option would be for the Cards to trade some of that surplus pass rushing talent to plug a roster-need at OL, RB or TE.
Bottom Line - In the NFL, "nothing is a 100% slam dunk", but the deal looks pretty dang good.