Photo credit: Rob Leiter / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
J.J Watt has taken a beating over the course of 8 NFL seasons. During that span of time the 3x Defensive Player of the Year has dislocated his elbow, broke his hand, tore his abdominal muscles, herniated a disc in his back, and broke his left leg. Yet despite all of that Watt battled back in 2018 and was just shy of winning the Comeback Player of the Year award. Ultimately that honor was given to Andrew Luck but you better believe that Watt’s 16 sacks deserves a ton of recognition. For him to go out there and prove not only that he could play but also that he can dominate the sport like he has done in the past is obviously huge. A lot of people were ready to write J.J Watt off but clearly he wasn’t having any of that. With Jadeveon Clowney possibly leaving in free agency the Texans are expecting Watt to maintain this high level of production. Watt really has to earn his paycheck every single year because if he slips up then Houston might let him go. That’s because Watt’s contract has 3 years and $46M dollars left on it. There’s also minimal dead cap (only $2M left) so Houston could cut Watt and be completely off the hook as far as the salary cap goes. Obviously that’s a lot of leverage for the team and it might actually be a good thing for J.J Watt motivation wise. Watt’s motto has always been “success is earned every single day” and he’s essentially playing for his spot on the roster. Yea he could go somewhere else but this is the franchise that drafted him and that has to mean something. When you also consider that he’s established some strong roots in Texas it makes sense that he’d want to stay there. Therefore you can almost guarantee that Watt will keep his foot on the gas for at least the next three years.
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Battling back: J.J Watt bounced back from a two year stretch that most would’ve caused most athletes to retire.