Sep 18, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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For half a decade, J.J. Watt has been the beating heart of the Houston Texans. Now could he be the key to their becoming Super Bowl contenders?
Not in the sense most believe, as one of the three best defensive players in the game. Instead his value may be emerging as more of a trade asset. It sounds unbelievable when one mentions it. There was a point in time not too long ago where Watt was probably the most untouchable player on any roster, including guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Now? There is a growing belief he could be expendable as part of an effort to, ironically, finding somebody like Rodgers or Brady.
Already it’s been offered he could be shipped to Dallas for Tony Romo and draft pick(s). That isn’t the only possibility though. SB Nation radio host Sean Salisbury alluded to serious likelihood that Houston can move him and why it’s plenty logical.
There is no denying that Watt has been one of the most dominant defensive players in the past four seasons prior to 2016 maybe in NFL history. He topped 20 sacks in a season twice and collected three Defensive Player of the Year awards. Nobody else has achieved either of those accomplishments. Yet what do the Texans have to show for it?
Not much. They made the playoffs twice in that stretch and went 1-2. Despite his incredible individual brilliance, the fact is Watt still is limited in his ability to impact the entire football game. It’s just the nature of his position. Quarterbacks have that kind of power and the reality is the Texans don’t have one. Therefore they have few supporters on the idea of them reaching a Super Bowl.
Then there is another inescapable fact about 2016. The Texans didn’t need him. Watt missed 13 games with his injured back. Even so the team still finished allowing the fewest yards per game in the NFL and just 20.5 points. Hard as it is to admit, the emergence of Jadeveon Clowney made him more of a lost luxury than a necessity. Thus the question needs asking again. What is stopping Houston from using Watt as highly valuable trade bait to lure in a quarterback?
Regardless of his back situation, the man isn’t even 28-years old yet. He’d be worth multiple high draft picks. Sometimes big sacrifices must be made in the short-term in order to obtain a brighter future. Dealing him to finally solve their crisis under center may be the final sacrifice required.