The Houston Texans released JJ Watt over the weekend. Granted, Watt is entering that window of time when many – – if not most – – defensive linemen become measurably less effective. Having said that, JJ Watt is also THE best defensive player in the history of the Houston Texans and JJ Watt had a more than respectable season in 2020 even if it was not comparable to those years when he was the Defensive Player of the Year in the NFL. Reports say that Watt asked for his release and the Texans agreed to give that to him; assuming that is the case, here are three ways it may have happened:
- The Texans wanted to have JJ Watt end his relationship with the team in the best possible light – – and this exit ramp is certainly better than other potential ruptures.
- The Texans realized that releasing him would incur no “dead cap money” for 2021 and would save them his salary of $17.5M against their 2021 cap.
- The Texans did not think they could get anything of value for Watt on the trade market.
Of course, it could also be an admixture of any pair or all three of the above … but the bottom line is that the Houston Texans have now lost another high-quality player and have gotten bupkes in return. Ad JJ Watt to this list:
- Jedeveon Clowney
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Deshaun Watson – – potentially
I do not pretend to be able to read minds – – but given the actions of the Texans’ personnel wizards as evidenced by the above, I would not want to have the power to read those minds. I prefer to reside is a far more rational region of space, and in a rational space, JJ Watt could have brought at least a draft pick or two back to the Texans as part of an exchange – – and the team needs draft picks given the way they have squandered them in past dealings.
Speculation about where Watt might sign immediately focused on the Steelers because his two younger brothers – – TJ Watt and Derek Watt – – are on the Steelers’ roster. Since I do not read minds, I have no idea if that situation is appealing or repulsive to JJ Watt but if he is going to be “chasing a ring” with his next team, perhaps he might think about signing with the Packers – – as a native of the State of Wisconsin – – or the Ravens. Wherever he signs, he will have absented himself from the drama and the vaudeville that is the Houston Texans’ organization; that change of pace for him would have to be a plus for him.
Dwight Perry “analyzed” the release of JJ Watt like this in the Seattle Times over the weekend:
“Those wild and crazy Houston Texans agreed to release star pass-rusher J.J. Watt — still under contract — instead of trying to get some return value in a trade.
“Veteran team watchers say you’d have to go back weeks — weeks — to find a Texans move this confounding.”
In another bit of NFL news that is not nearly as confounding or head-scratching as the release of JJ Watt, former NFL defensive back, “Pacman” Jones has been arrested yet again. [Aside: He has been arrested enough times that I suspect he can correct a police officer if the officer misstates the Miranda Warning.] This time the arrest is for and the charge is “misdemeanor assault”.
When I read that as the charge, I figured this was no big deal; probably what Pacman had done was to get into a shouting match with someone where pushing and shoving ensued and then – – as a pro athlete – – Pacman asserted himself a bit more than his adversary and the police were called. No big deal here; nothing to see here; move along…
Later in the report I read was the description that Pacman had punched and kicked another person in the head until that person was unconscious. [Aside: If that is “misdemeanor assault” in Cincinnati, I guess I do not want to know what “felonious assault” might entail.]
Pacman Jones was a Pro Bowl caliber DB in the NFL – – and was named All Pro one time – – during his career. He was drafted by the Titans high in the first round of the NFL Draft notwithstanding the fact that he had “off-field issues” while he was in college. Jones was indeed an on-field talent when he was available for his team; during his career, however, he was arrested and involved in “police matters” more than a handful of times and spent an entire season on suspension by the NFL for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Jones’ explanation for the situation last weekend was that he was at a bar and was trying to get the DJ to play some song or songs when he heard a ruckus behind him and saw the club bouncer fighting with Jones’ younger brother. At that point, Pacman went into action like Popeye the Sailor and according to Pacman, “I did what I needed to do.” There are lawyers in Cincinnati drooling over the potential billable hours here…
Finally, having cited Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times above, let me close today with his assessment of potential Valentine’s Day gifts:
“Among the worst reported Valentine’s Day gifts, according to Dating.com, are wilted flowers, a pet hamster and an online workout subscription.
“Somehow not making the list: Jets season tickets.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………