Watt just happened? Defensive end stuns NFL with decision to come to Arizona and Cardinal fans are excited for the addition.
Defensive end J.J. Watt, who ever since his release from Houston last month was rumored to go to a handful of places but never Arizona, ended up agreeing to sign with the Cardinals.
Watt made the announcement on Twitter Monday, with the team putting out a release a few minutes later saying it is a two-year contract.
After owner Michael Bidwill flew out to pick Watt up and bring him back to Arizona, Watt said he was “just excited to get started, to get to work and get to know the people of Arizona.”
“The one thing I can promise (the fans) is that I’m going to work my ass off every day to make you proud,” Watt added.
Multiple reports have the deal for the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year for potentially $31 million, with $23 million guaranteed.
It made the Instagram post by former and now current teammate DeAndre Hopkins recently – where Hopkins posted an edited photo of he and Watt hugging, both in Cardinals uniforms, with the caption “Let’s finish what we started” – look prescient.
Watt, fits into a defensive line that needed a veteran and a locker room that could use his leadership. With fellow veteran Chandler Jones returning from injury, the Cardinals should be helped in their pass rush regardless of what happens with free agents-to-be Haason Reddick and Markus Golden.
The other defensive linemen under contract for 2021 are Zach Allen, Jordan Phillips, Leki Fotu, Rashard Lawrence and Shareef Miller.
Watt had been rumored to be choosing between the Browns, Packers, Bills, Titans and perhaps the Steelers. The Cardinals, other than Hopkins’ IG plea, were not seen as a suitor – until Monday.
His uniform number choice will be interesting. Watt’s 99 is one of the few retired by the Cardinals, in honor of Marshall Goldberg, a four-time All-Pro back in the 1940s and part of the 1947 championship team who also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.